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Table of Contents Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce Community Profile & Resource Guide

Overview Business & Community Profile

Valdosta-Lowndes County at a Glance................. 4

Relocation & Homes

Valdosta Housing Market Offers Value and Variety.............................................. 6 Retirement Communities.................................... 6

Financial Services Guide

Chamber Member Banks.................................... 7

Arts, Culture, & Recreation

Restaurant & Lodging Guide............................... 8 Epicenter of Cultural Activity............................. 10 Peach State Summer Theatre........................... 10 Recreational Facilities...................................... 11 Scream, Splash, and Safari ............................. 12 Classic Golf With Extraordinary Style................. 12 Arts and Recreation Attractions and Events........ 13

Health Care

South Georgia Medical Center.......................... 14 SMITH Northview Hospital................................ 15 Other Regional Health Service Providers............ 16

Government

Introducing Lowndes County............................. 18 Praising Valdosta-Lowndes County.................... 19 Community Resources Directory....................... 20

Workforce Development & Education Public Education

Hahira Middle School: A Lighthouse School to Watch.......................... 22 Valdosta High Rallies Around International Baccalaureate Diploma................ 24

Higher Education

Community Capital: VSU’s SIFE Students Build Multipurpose Learning Center................. 25

CommunityLink.com

Going Green in Every Color: VTC’s Eco-Friendly Paint Program.................... 26

Pro-Business Environment Targeted Business Expansion Program

A Four-Winner Scenario................................... 28

Division of Labor – Singularity of Purpose

“No Wrong Door” Philosophy............................ 30 VALET............................................................. 31

Small Business & Entrepreneur Development Paving the Road to Success

S.E.E.D.S. Center of South Georgia................... 32 Business Resources in Valdosta-Lowndes County............................... 35

1 800-455-5600

production production manager director of publication design managing editor copywriting proofreader director of photography photography lead design web site creation & support director of media purchasing

MATT PRICE Amanda White Laura Wilcoxen AManda Knoles Jay Nehrkorn Christina Reese kacey wolters Wes Sewell Amanda White JOSH CHANDLER DIANA VAUGHN

business development director of business development director of outside sales marketing specialist business development manager marketing consultant customer service director customer service representative

George Prudhomme debbie moss Shawna Williams Bonnie Ebers Bill Joeks kathy Risley Anna Ewert

Business Vignettes

Azalea Health Innovations................................. 36 SEGA Medical Research .................................. 37 Code 3 Response Security . ............................. 37 SmithBarnas & Associates................................ 38

Young Professionals in Valdosta

advertising ad research ad traffic ad design

administrative support

MetroOne

Connecting Young Talent Throughout Valdosta... 40

Affluent and Artistic Asset

Shop, Dine, & Celebrate................................... 42

Retiring in Valdosta

administrative support account support human resources assistant mailroom technician

A Triple Crown Hometown

Looking Forward in Lowndes County ................ 44 Not Retired – Just Rewired............................... 46

Kathy Hagene carol Smith Terri Ahner Tricia Cannedy Teresa craig melinda bowlin

information technology

publishing systems specialist

Index of Advertisers

Please Support Our Advertisers......................... 47

Mary kopshever Amy SchwartzkoPf Carol Smith JOSh Mueller

christopher miller

executive leadership

chairman and founder chief financial officer

Craig Williams Rhonda Harsy

ABOUT  This book is published by CommunityLink

and distributed through the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce. For advertising information or questions or comments about this book, contact CommunityLink at 800-455-5600 or by e-mail at info@CommunityLink.com. FOR

INFORMATION    Valdosta-Lowndes

County

Chamber of Commerce, 416 North Ashley Street, Valdosta,

GA

31601,

Telephone

229-247-8100,

Fax 229-245-0071, www.valdostachamber.com © 2010 Craig Williams Creative, Inc., 4742 Holts Prairie Road, Post Office Box 306, Pinckneyville, IL 62274-0306, 618-357-8653. All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the publisher.

www.valdostachamber.com 3


Overview Business & Community Profile

Valdosta-Lowndes County

at a Glance

Compiled by Amanda Knoles

POPULATION Lowndes County ....................................104,583 City of Valdosta ........................................48,547 Density ......................................................201.2 Average household size ................................2.46 Median age .................................................30.5 Male ........................................................48.7% Female ....................................................51.3 % Married ....................................................46.5% Never married ...........................................28.7%

LOWNDES COUNTY INCOME Average household income ...................... $46,947 Median household income ....................... $41,992 Per capita income .................................... $20,135 Average wage per hour .............................. $14.36

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; Georgia Department of Labor; S.E.E.D.S Center of South Georgia

Sources: S.E.E.D.S Center of South Georgia; Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority

COST OF LIVING

TAXABLE RETAIL SALES 2008 Lowndes County ............$2.8 billion Combined state and local sales tax is 7 percent. Source: Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority

PROPERTY TAXES Valdosta

Taxes on property are a combination of millage rates and assessment ratios, which vary by location. (Millage rate is multiplied by assessment ratio.) Effective tax rates combine city, county, school, and state tax rates into one figure, which is the annual tax for each $1,000 of property at its fair market value. The rate applies to all property, land, buildings, machinery, equipment and inventory.

U.S. average for all indices is 100.

United States

100 90 80 70 60

2009 Millage (Property Tax) Rates

50 40 30 20 10 0

Overall 90.4

Groceries 97.4

Housing 83.3

Utilities 86.6

Transport 98.5

Health Care 100

Source: Valdosta State University; Center for Economic Research

HOUSING: LOWNDES COUNTY Average list price ................................... $220,250 Median home price ................................ $108,400 Sources: Coldwell Banker; Forbes

State .......................................................................................0.250 Lowndes County ......................................................................7.310 Schools Lowndes County Schools .........................................................14.70 Valdosta City Schools ..............................................................15.98 Recreation (countywide) ...........................................................1.250 Valdosta ..................................................................................4.112 Downtown ..............................................................................5.000 Dasher ....................................................................................0.000 Hahira .....................................................................................5.380 Lake Park ................................................................................4.703 Remerton ................................................................................6.387 Source: Georgia Department of Revenue

QUALITY OF LIFE Average one-way commute ................................. 19 minutes Air quality (scale of 100) ................................................... 73 January low temperature ............................................... 39ยบF July high temperature .................................................. 93ยบF Sunny days per year....................................................... 231 Precipitation per year ......................................................51"

4 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce


Business & Community Profile Overview

EDUCATION Attainment Percent of population 25 or older High school completion rate.........................................74.5% High school grad/GED, no college ...................................37% Some college, no degree .............................................19.0% Associate degree ..........................................................7.6% Bachelor’s degree .......................................................15.1% Graduate degree ...........................................................8.3% Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; S.E.E.D.S Center of South Georgia

Resources Student-to-teacher ratio ............................................ 20-to-1 Colleges, universities, and technical schools .........................6 Number of county public schools .......................................10 Number of city public schools ..............................................8 Number of private schools .................................................13 Source: S.E.E.D.S Center of South Georgia; Lowndes County Schools System

RECREATION Hotel rooms .................................................................4,300 Restaurants ....................................................................222 Tennis courts ....................................................................28 Parks ...............................................................................20 Golf courses .......................................................................4 Swimming pools .................................................................5 Country clubs .....................................................................3 Recreational parks ..............................................................9 Mini parks ........................................................................18 Public athletic facilities ......................................................30 State parks .................. 1 (Reed Bingham; 40 miles) Public lakes/rivers ............................................... 3 (Alapaha, Little River, Withlacoochee) Shopping Valdosta Mall, Lake Park Outlet Stores, Main Street Historic District, Summit Pointe Shopping Center Movie theaters .................................................... 2 Amusement park ......................11 (Wild Adventures) Sources: Georgia Tourism; Valdosta-Lowndes County Tourism Authority

TOP EMPLOYERS Company.....................................................Industry .............Employees Moody Air Force Base ............................................ Military ...........................4,448 South Georgia Medical Center..................................Health ............................2,300 Valdosta State University ...................................... Education .........................2,280 Lowndes County School System............................ Education .........................1,279 Valdosta City School System ................................. Education ............................950 Lowe’s Distribution Center ................................... Distribution ...........................900 Convergys Corp. ..................................................Call center ............................850 Walmart Supercenters (2) .................................... Retail sales ...........................700 City of Valdosta ...................................................Government ...........................659 Lowndes County .................................................Government ...........................540 Fresh Beginnings ...............................................Baked goods ..........................500 Roadway Express, Inc. ...........................................Transport .............................450 Jacuzzi Whirlpool Bath.....................................Plumbing fixtures .......................400 Langdale .........................................................Forest products ........................390 Wild Adventures ..............................................Amusement park .......................364 Packaging Corp. of America ..................................... Paper ...............................350 ADM ............................................................Soybean processing .....................285 Dillard’s Distribution Center .............................Retail distribution .......................275 SAFT America, Inc. ................................................Batteries .............................232 Doctors Laboratory, Inc ....................................... Drug testing ...........................202 Source: Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority

LABOR FORCE Civilian labor force ............................ 68,801 Employed ......................................... 63,615 Unemployed ....................................... 5,186 Unemployment rate .............................. 7.5% Source: Georgia Department of Labor, May 2009

www.valdostachamber.com 5


Overview Relocation & Homes

Valdosta

Retirement Communities By Amanda Knoles

Offers Value and Variety

I

n 2007 Valdosta was named one of the top places to retire in the South by Retirement Lifestyles magazine. The lure of attractive master-planned communities continues to attract active retirees and families seeking a fresh start. • Kinderlou Forest, a double-gated community near I-75 in Valdosta, appeals to firsttime home buyers and retirees. Offering an 18-hole championship golf course, rolling hills, and the surrounding beauty of deciduous and Southern pine forests, it features 250 home sites and an upscale townhome area spanning over 1,000 acres. The master-planned community includes a recreation complex with a clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts, and fitness facility. For more information call 229-219-2361 or visit www.kinderlou.com. • Stone Creek, a 735-acre master-planned community situated on a former cattle ranch in Valdosta, has grown to 300 homes with 400 more sites available. Lots range from a half-acre to over a full acre, with some offering lake vistas and others overlooking the 18-hole championship golf course. Interior lots on quiet cul de sacs and smaller garden homes offer a choice of architectural styles ranging from traditional European and Cape Cod styles to Mediterranean and country. Amenities include a gated entrance, golf course, swimming pool, tennis courts, and clubhouse. For more information call 229-241-8817 or visit www.gagolf.com/ residential.htm.

6 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

By Amanda Knoles

V

oted one of the “Top 100 Places to Live” by Relocate America in 2008, Valdosta is Georgia’s 10th-largest city and a popular relocation spot for young professionals, families, and active adults. With an average listing price of $200,000, the Valdosta/Lowndes County area offers affordable housing combined with a high quality of life. Housing costs are 16 percent lower than many other parts of the country, and the cost of living is 9.6 percent lower than the rest of the United States. Valdosta was also ranked “Fifth-Highest MSA in the Nation in Property Value Retention” in a June 2008 report released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Available real estate ranges from rural ranch-style homes with acreage to older residences in the historic district, with a wide choice of homes in the mid-price range located near schools, shopping, and within easy commuting distance of I-75. New housing developments afford residents and newcomers the chance to build their dream home, while young singles and couples are drawn to the modern lofts in revitalized downtown. For those who are not yet ready to buy, the Valdosta area offers a large selection of affordably priced condominiums and apartments for rent.


Financial Services Guide Overview

Find the right place to take care of all your personal or business banking needs in Lowndes County at any of these Chamber-member banks. Area code is 229.

Chamber Member Banks Ameris Bank 3140 Inner Perimeter Road, Valdosta ...... 241-2851

Atlantic Southern Bank 468 Norman Drive, Valdosta ................... 249-9672

Bank of America 106 S. Patterson St., Valdosta................. 247-6030

Bank of Valdosta 301 Woodrow Wilson Drive, Valdosta ....... 242-3522

Georgia Power Valdosta Federal Credit Union 1707 Dow Street, Valdosta ..................... 253-1111

Guardian Bank

Regions Bank 2611 N. Patterson Street, Valdosta .......... 242-1200

Southeastern Federal Credit Union 3501 N. Valdosta Road, Valdosta............. 293-1221

701 Wildwood Plantation Drive, Valdosta . 247-0002

The Park Avenue Bank

SunTrust Bank 340 Norman Drive, Valdosta ................... 219-7214

3102 N. Oak Street Ext., Valdosta ........... 242-7758

Valdosta Teachers Federal Credit Union 102 E. Force Street, Valdosta .................. 247-9930

BB&T 2901-A N. Ashley Street, Valdosta ........... 242-4351

Bemiss Citizens Bank 4060 Bemiss Road, Valdosta .................. 247-5266

Citizens Community Bank

Georgia Power Valdosta Federal Credit Union 1707 Dow Street • Valdosta, GA 31601 Phone: (229) 253-1111 • Fax: (229) 293-9174

P.O. Box 338, Hahira .............................. 794-2111

Colony Bank Valdosta, FSB P.O. Box 2618, Valdosta ......................... 241-9900

Commercial Banking Company 3462 N. Valdosta Road, Valdosta............. 242-7600

First Federal of Valdosta 411 N. Patterson Street, Valdosta ............ 244-0164

First State Bank & Trust Co. 3650 Inner Perimeter Road, Valdosta ...... 242-5725

...living the credit union difference. A not-for-profit financial cooperative serving employer groups throughout the greater Valdosta area. Visit our web site at gpvfcu.com for detailed information.

www.texasroadhouse.com 1874 Clubhouse Drive • Valdosta, GA 31601

229-242-7700 • Hand-Cut Steaks • Award-Winning “Fall-Off-the-Bone” Ribs • Fresh-Baked Bread Served with Honey Cinnamon Butter • Made-From-Scratch Side Items and Dressings • Ice-Cold Beer & Legendary Margaritas

www.valdostachamber.com 7


Overview Arts, Culture, & Recreation

Restaurant & Lodging Guide

Restaurants

The following are members in good standing of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce as of October 2009. Area code is 229 unless otherwise specified.

306 North

The Bistro

Chili’s

306 N. Patterson Street, Valdosta............. 249-5333

132 N. Ashley Street, Valdosta................. 253-1253

1700 Baytree Road, Valdosta................... 244-8604

Antoine’s The Flavor of New Orleans

The Bleu Cafe

Covington’s Dining & Catering

205 N. Ashley Street, Valdosta................. 241-9600

123 N Patterson Street.................. (229) 244-2248

310 N. Patterson Street, Valdosta............. 242-2261

Atlanta Bread Company

Bleu Pub

Crystal River Seafood

1531 Baytree Road, Valdosta................... 259-9969

123 N Patterson Street................... (229) 219-2289

958 St. Augustine Road, Valdosta............. 249-9515

Austins Cattle Co.

Blimpie Subs & Salads

Dairy Queen/Stuckey’s

2101 West Hill Ave., Valdosta................... 259-9333

414 Northside Drive, Valdosta.................. 245-1885

4598 N. Valdosta Road, Valdosta.............. 219-7772

Autry Bar-B-Que

Bojangles

Dairy Queen

1811 S. Patterson Street, Valdosta........... 241-9449

1725 W. Hill Avenue, Valdosta.................. 242-4202

701 North Ashley Street................. (229) 242-4095

Azalea’s Restaurant & Lounge

Burger King

Ellianos Coffee Company

1805 W. Hill Avenue, Valdosta.................. 247-9500

108 E. Northside Drive, Valdosta.............. 671-1003

1337 Baytree Road, Suite I, Valdosta........ 244-4804

1164 N. St. Augustine Road, Valdosta...... 247-2724 1801 N. Ashley Street, Valdosta............... 244-4904 2007 W. Hill Avenue, Valdosta.................. 247-4056 4464 Shiloh Road, Valdosta..................... 247-6593

Bas Bleu

C.J.’s Pub & Pool

Holiday Inn – Azalea’s Restaurant

Barberitos

123 N Patterson Street................... (229) 244-2248

Baytree Pizza 607 Baytree Road Suite C........... (229) 253-0634

Beijing Café 1715-C Norman Drive, Valdosta............... 253-0808

Bemiss Barbecue & Catering, LLC 4920 Bemiss Road ....................... (229) 242-9770

Best Western 1403 N. St. Augustine Road, Valdosta...... 244-7600

8 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

Fox’s Pizza @ Funstreet 1591 Baytree Road, Valdosta................... 293-1369

1201 Baytree Road, Valdosta................... 333-0903

1805 W. Hill Avenue, Valdosta.................. 244-1111

Catfish One

Hooters of Valdosta

3960 Macey Drive, Valdosta.................... 242-4200

1854 Clubhouse Road, Valdosta.............. 241-9377

Charlie Tripper’s, Inc.

Hungry Howie’s

4479 N. Valdosta Road, Valdosta.............. 247-0366

118 A Northside Drive, Valdosta............... 251-2145

Chick-fil-A

IHOP of Valdosta

1700 Norman Drive #1056 (Colonial Mall), Valdosta................................................ 247-2487 1100 N. St. Augustine Road, Valdosta...... 247-2625

1821 W. Hill Avenue, Valdosta.................. 249-8444

Jessie’s Eats & Treats 111 W. Central Avenue, Valdosta.............. 247-4671


Arts, Culture, & Recreation Overview Kentucky Fried Chicken

Outback Steak House

Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q

1207 N. Ashley Street, Valdosta............... 242-1120 1300 N. St. Augustine Road, Valdosta...... 242-2145 3026 N. Ashley Street, Valdosta............... 247-0666

1824 Clubhouse Drive, Valdosta.............. 242-4329

1701 Norman Drive, Valdosta.................. 241-8090

Palms Dining Center

Starbucks Coffee Company

1500 N. Patterson Street, Valdosta........... 333-7146

1305 N. St. Augustine Road, Valdosta...... 241-0771

Papa John’s

Steak n Shake

2139 Bemiss Road, Valdosta................... 241-1000

980 N. St. Augustine Road, Valdosta........ 242-5000

Passage 2 India

Submarina California Subs

2910 E. N. Ashley Street, Valdosta........... 219-7276

4165 Bemiss Road, Unit K, Valdosta......... 241-9292 104 E. Northside Drive, Valdosta.............. 241-9948

Little Caesars 1650-F Baytree Road, Valdosta................ 245-7767

Loco’s Deli & Pub 1703 Gornto Road, Valdosta.................... 245-1994

Marble Slab Creamery Marco Polo 1550 Baytree Road, Valdosta................... 253-1119

McAlister’s Deli 1700 Norman Drive, Suite 510, Valdosta....247-0876

McDonald’s

Pita Pit 607 Baytree Road, Suite B, Valdosta........ 249-8070

Quiznos Subs 1650-A Baytree Road, Valdosta............... 241-9808

R & M Mid-South Restaurants, LLC 1830 W. Hill Avenue, Valdosta.................. 245-1234

1177 N. St. Augustine Road, Valdosta...... 671-9902 4109 Bemiss Road, Valdosta................... 671-9940 715 S. Patterson Street, Valdosta............. 671-9908

Rascals Bar and Grille

Michael’s Deli

4005 Bear Lake Road, Valdosta............... 219-2326

805 Pine Point Circle, Valdosta................ 293-9905

Rock-ITS Cosmic Café & Retro Finds

Moe’s Southwest Grill

3511 Huntsburg Way, Valdosta................ 561-5567

1525 Baytree Road, Suite M, Valdosta...... 293-0663

Rodeo Mexican Restaurant

Mom & Dad’s Italian Restaurant

2801 N. Ashley Street, Valdosta............... 671-1866

4143 N. Valdosta Road, Valdosta.............. 333-0848

Smok’n Pig B-B-Q

Mori Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar

4228 North Valdosta Road.............. (229) 245-8227

1709 Norman Drive, Valdosta.................. 244-5299

Sonic Drive In

Ole Times Country Buffet

1520 W. Hill Avenue, Valdosta.................. 671-9571

4875 Highway 41 South, Lake Park......... 559-1699

The Ravine Grille and Dinnerhouse

Subway 4622 Bemiss Road, Valdosta................... 245-8090

Taqueria del SurEste 3209-B N. Oak Street Ext., Valdosta......... 249-0057

Restaurants

1650 Baytree Road, Suite E, Valdosta....... 244-4920

Texas Roadhouse 1874 Clubhouse Drive, Valdosta.............. 242-7700

Two Friends Café & Market 3338-B Country Club Drive, Valdosta....... 242-3282

Two Scoops and Café 1575 Baytree Road, Valdosta................... 292-6122

Vito’s 132 N. Patterson Street, Valdosta............. 242-8595

Weezie BBQ 736 E. Hill Avenue, Valdosta..................... 247-4110

Wooden Nickel Pub 794 Lake Laurie Drive, Valdosta............... 242-5842

1193 N. St. Augustine Road, Valdosta...... 253-1600

Best Western

Econo Lodge

Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Center

1403 N. St. Augustine Road, Valdosta.........................................800-528-1234

3022 James Road, Valdosta.................... 671-1511

1805 W. Hill Avenue, Valdosta.................. 244-1111

Comfort Inn

Fairview Inn Bed & Breakfast

Jameson Inn

416 River Street, Valdosta....................... 244-6456

1725 Gornto Road, Valdosta.............800-526-5766

Comfort Suites

Garden Villas Extended Stay Suites and Hotel

La Quinta Inn & Suites

1332 N. St. Augustine Road, Valdosta...... 249-8880

2529 N. Ashley Street, Valdosta............... 247-4301

Country Hearth Inn & Suites

Guesthouse International Inn of Valdosta

2811 N. Ashley Street, Valdosta............... 242-2777

1828 W. Hill Avenue, Valdosta...........800-214-8378

Country Inn & Suites

Hampton Inn

1308 N. St. Augustine Road, Valdosta...... 245-1700

1705 Gornto Road, Valdosta.............800-426-7866

Courtyard by Marriott

Hampton Inn & Suites

1564 Baytree Road, Valdosta............800-321-2211

2 Meeting Place Drive, Valdosta............... 241-1234

Days Inn at Conference Center

Hawthorne Suites Valdosta

1827 W. Hill Avenue, Valdosta...........800-329-7466

4025 Northlake Drive, Valdosta................ 241-9221

329 Water Street, Apalachicola, Fla.............................850-653-1237

Days Inn-Lake Park

Hilton Garden Inn

Wingate by Wyndham

4913 Timbew Drive, Lake Park................ 559-0229

1702 Gornto Road, Valdosta.................... 219-1011

2010 W. Hill Avenue................................ 242-1225

Days Inn North

Holiday Inn Express & Suites

4598 N. Valdosta Road, Valdosta.............. 244-4460

1330 N. St. Augustine Road, Valdosta................................................ 249-8900

2101 W. Hill Avenue, Valdosta.................. 242-1212

1800 Clubhouse Drive, Valdosta.......800-258-2466

Motel 6 2003 W. Hill Avenue, Valdosta.................. 333-0047 3026 James Road, Valdosta.............800-473-3026

Super 8 at Conference Center 1825 W. Hill Avenue, Valdosta...........800-800-8000

Waterstreet Hotel and Marina

www.valdostachamber.com 9

Lodging

Sleep Inn, Inn and Suites


Overview Arts, Culture, & Recreation

Epicenter of Cultural Activity By Jay Nehrkorn

Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts 2297-ARTS :: www.turnercenter.org

L

ocated in the heart of downtown Valdosta, the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts is the epicenter of cultural activity in the South Georgia and North Florida area. A prime venue for artistic expression and education, it serves as a regional partner to the Georgia Council for the Arts in administering the state’s Grassroots Arts Program. It also acts as the parent organization for a number of musical, theater, and literary organizations. Within the center’s 17,000-square-foot main facility are six galleries used to exhibit fine art of many forms. Four of the galleries provide new exhibits at six-week intervals, while the Jerry Tillman Gallery and the Howard Gallery display the center’s permanent collection of exquisite East African pieces and European porcelain works. The gift shop features the works of regional artists and gives

visitors the opportunity to purchase beautiful pieces for their homes. The center also hosts art shows and fundraising events throughout the year. The annual Spring into Art competition, held in April, is the largest of these events and showcases the talents of local, regional, and national artists. One of the primary goals of the center is to expand opportunities for art education within the region. There are diverse classes at the center, which include ongoing pottery classes, youth art camps and adult art instruction, yoga classes, culinary courses, and many others. The center also collaborates with Valdosta State University’s arts department and the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Valdosta to provide the Art Explorations Program, funded by local grants, which serves the dual purpose of giving VSU art education students classroom experience and exposing area children to a level of art instruction beyond the curricula they receive in school. The performing arts are also important at the Turner Center, which hosts seasonal concerts and dance performances within the facility. The Presenter Series welcomes four touring Broadway shows to Mathis Auditorium in Valdosta each year. Admission to the center is free, but membership is encouraged, as it is a primary source of the funding that makes all of these events and exhibits possible.

Peach State Summer Theatre By Jay Nehrkorn www.valdosta.edu/psst/

Peach State Summer Theatre, the “Official Musical Theatre of the State of Georgia,” offers a nine-week season of performances each summer at VSU’s Sawyer Theatre. Casts and crews are assembled through regional auditions before coming together under the leadership of VSU faculty. Three productions are offered each season, including one title that is geared toward young people, and another that’s a perfect “parent date night” opportunity. The performance schedule is also designed to allow visitors to Valdosta the chance to catch all three shows during a short stay. Past productions have included such titles as Gypsy, The Producers, Chicago, and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. 10 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce


recreational Facilities Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & recreation authority 229-259-3507 • http://vlpra.com/

Amphitheater/Stage Baseball/Softball Basketball Boating Concession Stand Fishing Gazebo Grill Gymnasium Kitchen Media Room Meeting Rooms Multi-Purpose Field Nature Trail Picnic Area Playground Restrooms Shelter Skate Park Swimming Pool Tennis Volleyball Walking Track Water Play Area

Arts, Culture, & Recreation Overview

Name

address

Azalea City Trail Bland Park Chitty Park Clyattville Community Park Craig Center Drexel Park Eastwind Park Fellowship Park Greer Park Hightower Park Hyta’s Park J. L. Lomax Jaycee Park John W. Saunders Memorial Park Lake Park Library Park Langdale Park Lovett Park McKey Park Mildred Hunter Community Center Naylor Community Park North Lowndes Recreation Complex Olympic Park Oris Blackburn Memorial Park Payton Park Ralph Harrington Park & Pool Riley-Ledford Park Scott Park Shannon Hill Park Smith Park Snake Nation Community Park South Lowndes Community Center Taylor-Cowart Park Tom’s Corner Park Vallotton Park Wood Valley Community Center

From Valloton Youth Complex 2204 E. Park Lane Industrial Boulevard • 4377 Old Clyattville Road • • 1104 W. Gordon Street 1401 N. Patterson Street 1904 Fawnridge Park Wooding Land and Holiday Street 401 Marette Avenue • • Hightower and Magnolia 1804 Jerry Jones Drive 700 J. L. Lomax Drive • 2306 J.C. Shack Road 1151 River Street • • • Highway 375 Lakes Boulevard Highway 41 North • 41 South 112 Burton Avenue 509 S. Fry Street Highway 84 East 7715 Sonny Rogers Memorial Blvd., Hahira 402 1/2 S. Patterson Street • Highway 31 South • Highway 94 East/New Statenville Highway 509 S. Fry Street Highway 84 East • 1101 Old Statenville Road/Continental Drive • • • 700 Cranford Avenue and Hillcrest • 507 E. Central Avenue Bird Hall and Hardy Road 6440 Ocean Pond Avenue, Lake Park 2413 Bemiss Road • Troup and Mary streets 804 Woodlawn Drive 1907 Gornto Road •

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www.valdostachamber.com 11


Overview Arts, Culture, & Recreation

Scream, By Jay Nehrkorn

Splash, and Safari

R

emember the excitement you felt when summer vacation finally came and it was time for a family getaway to the local zoo, amusement park, or water slide? Imagine going somewhere that takes your favorite elements of all of those trips, makes them even better, and brings them together in one scenic location. That place exists, and it’s just a few short miles south of Valdosta at the Wild Adventures Water and Theme Park. With rides of all types and sizes, exciting water attractions, live entertainment, and encounters with some of the world’s most remarkable animals, Wild Adventures is a destination where the whole family can create memories worth repeating. No theme park would be complete without breathtaking rides, and Wild Adventures has over 50 that will satisfy thrill-seekers of any age or comfort level. Roller coaster enthusiasts will scream for the high-speed, hair-pin, upside-down excitement of the park’s premier

Sports fans will fall in love with the area; after all, Valdosta wasn’t named ESPN’s 2008 “TitletownUSA” for nothing. Spectators can enjoy watching highly competitive high school and VSU sports programs, including their incredibly successful football teams. But Lowndes County is no place to be just an armchair quarterback — there are amazing golf facilities, sporting leagues for all ages, and fitness opportunities of every kind. Whatever your game is, they’re playing it in Valdosta. 12 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

coasters. Or, for a different type of adrenaline rush, try diving on the Geronimo Skycoaster, swinging on Pharaoh’s Fury, plunging down Blackfoot Falls, and blasting off in the Double Shot. If all of this sounds too intense, they also have intermediate-level coasters and rides that are great for the whole family, plus a number of rides tailored just for the little ones. Wild Adventures got its start in the 1990s as a petting zoo, and it now gives visitors the chance to view and enjoy amazing animals from all over the globe. Take a ride through the African Pridelands area on the Safari Train to see antelopes, elephants, giraffes, lions, tigers, and more. Explore the Swamp Area from the Boardwalk to find lemurs, deer, black bear, and gators in their extraordinary habitat. View tropical birds in the aviary, see the mighty king cobra at the Snake House, and marvel at big cats as they splash and play in the African Pridelands. True to its roots, the park also maintains a wonderful petting zoo and offers pony rides. Be sure to check the daily show schedule so you don’t miss the chance to see these magnificent creatures up close and learn more about them. Want to beat the summer heat? Then bring your bathing suit and get wet at Wild Adventures Splash Island Water Park. Guests can climb and play on the Polynesian Adventure, which combines a water wheel,

Wild Adventures Water & Theme Park

229-219-7080 :: www.wildadventures.com

slides, water cannons, and hundreds of other features on a four-story structure frequently doused with water by the giant Tikki Head. Ride the surf in the 20,000-square-foot Catchawave Bay wave pool, or just relax in the current for a lazy ride around Paradise River. The thrills of Bonzai Pipeline and Kalani Blasters slides are waiting, or you can ride a four-person tube down the ominous WaheeCyclone tunnel slide. Youngsters can enjoy water fun that’s just their size at Sea Turtle Cove. Splash Island also offers complimentary life vests for the kids, showers, changing rooms, and rental lockers to make the park convenient for everyone. Amidst the excitement of the rides, animals, and water attractions, Wild Adventures also offers other ways to enjoy the visit. There’s live entertainment, and they offer a spectacular concert series that brings bigname artists to the park each season. The indoor and picnic-style restaurants provide dining options to satisfy any taste, and there are shops that offer essentials and fun souvenirs for every member of the family. Add in a host of games, as well as the option to race go-carts and play mini-golf, and it’s easy to see why Wild Adventures has too much fun for just a one-day visit.

Classic Golf With Extraordinary Style Just west of Valdosta on Highway 84 lies a 160-acre destination for both professional and recreational golf enthusiasts. The Kinderlou Forest Golf Course has been the home of the PGA Nationwide Tour’s South Georgia Classic since 2007 and is a host for the pre-qualifying stage of the PGA tour school. But this semi-private course isn’t just for professionals, and among its many accolades it’s been named one of the top 20 “Best Tour Courses You Can Play” by Golfweek magazine. Kinderlou Forest was designed by professional golfing icon Davis Love III. It combines variety with classic design elements to give golfers a traditional, yet challenging, experience. With an overall length of 7,781 yards, it’s the longest course on the Nationwide Tour. Players will also appreciate the diversity and natural beauty of the course as it traverses from the rolling fields and hardwoods of the front nine to the mature pine forest of the finishing nine. Other amenities at Kinderlou Forest include services to help organize outings or tournaments, top-notch instruction, a fully stocked pro shop, and excellent dining and beverage options at the clubhouse.


Arts and Recreation Attractions and Events

Arts, Culture, & Recreation

Overview

Art After Dark

Third Thursdays

www.valdostasymphony.org

www.valdostamainstreet.com

www.hahira.ga.us

Held every third Friday of the month, a familyfriendly evening event where downtown businesses display the works of local artists as street performers serenade passers-by and create new works of art before their very eyes

Downtown community event featuring dining café style, browsing the shops, and a variety of live musical entertainment in fun venues

Supported by VSU, the orchestra’s membership is comprised of resident artist-faculty, students studying professional music disciplines, community performers, and professionals from a five-state region

Azalea Festival http://azaleafestival.com/

Annual March celebration of springtime blooming of the area’s many azaleas; festivities include arts and food vendors, live entertainment, fireworks, kids’ attractions, and 5K events Camellia Trail On the Valdosta State University campus; includes more than 430 varieties of the flower

Valdosta Chamber Players Classical chamber music performed by regional musicians; founded and directed by Dr. Larry Scully of VSU Valdosta Choral Guild www.valdostachoralguild.com

Community choir presenting two programs per year (a Christmas program in early December and a spring concert); no audition necessary to join

First Fridays www.valdostamainstreet.com

Community event that draws thousands downtown to enjoy dining café style, browsing the shops, libations, and a variety of live musical entertainment in fun venues

Winterfest www.valdostamainstreet.com

Held in downtown Valdosta each December; features arts, carriage rides, Christmas tree lighting, and street vendors YMCA www.valdostaymca.org

Two locations; facilities include weight-training, cardiovascular, circuit training, fitness instructors, women’s center, AquaPark, massage, and variety of athletic and educational programs

Valdosta Symphony Orchestra

Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area 229-426-5267

The 8,700-acre Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area, just 10 miles north of Valdosta, is a great location for camping, hiking, photography, and canoeing, as well as fishing and hunting Honey Bee Festival www.hahira.ga.us/honeybee.html

First week in October in Hahira; includes arts and crafts, a pageant, a parade, live entertainment, and a street dance Little Actors Theatre www.littleactorsvaldosta.com

Children’s theater organization; in addition to productions, the group sponsors workshops, classes, and various activities for children Reed Bingham State Park http://gastateparks.org/info/reedbing/

Swimming, fishing, camping, hiking, water sports South Georgia Motorsports Park www.racesgmp.com

Home to one of only two all-concrete quartermile dragstrips in North America as well as a premier 0.5-mile, D-shaped, progressive banked asphalt oval track speedway Theatre Guild Valdosta www.theatreguildvaldosta.com

Community theater group that performs in the ’Dosta Theatre building; four main stage shows annually, as well as two shows by the children’s theater group, Gingerbread Players

www.valdostachamber.com 13


Overview Health Care

South Georgia Medical Center By Amanda Knoles

History and Community Impact South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC), under the umbrella of the South Georgia Health System (SGHS), is a leading employer and provider of comprehensive health care services in South Georgia and North Florida. SGMC was founded in 1955 as Pineview General Hospital, a 100-bed community hospital. Today, the 335-bed regional referral hospital serves a diverse and aging population with a variety of inpatient and outpatient needs. SGMC is committed to continuous growth and the improvement of services necessary to meet the health care demands of the community. As a public, not-for-profit hospital, SGMC provides outstanding health care to all, regardless of the ability to pay for services. With careful business management and astute

2501 North Patterson Street, Valdosta 229-259-4420 :: www.sgmc.org

14 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

Services planning, the hospital serves the area with no local property tax support. This translates into many millions of dollars in benefits provided to the community each year. And, because it is publicly owned and operated, earnings are reinvested back into services and facilities.

New Construction In 2004, a vigorous five-year construction program costing approximately $90 million began. The program called for the construction of a new Information Technology Facility (completed 2006), a new Emergency Department (completed 2007), a new Medical Office Building and Ambulatory Surgery Center (completed 2008), and the new Dasher Memorial Heart Center. The Surgery Center and Professional Building are the most recent projects completed.

SGMC is the largest non-governmental employer in Lowndes County, employing more than 2,300 people, including a medical staff of 195. A volunteer staff of 350 also lends ongoing support. SGMC provides comprehensive preventive, diagnostic, treatment, and recuperative health care services, with primary services including behavioral health, cancer, cardiology, emergency services, neurology and neurosurgery, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, radiology and imaging, surgery, and women’s and children’s care. The Medical Center also provides a variety of classes and seminars as a community service, including cardiac education, special delivery parenting classes, critical condition advance directive workshops, community health promotional events, and support groups.


Health Care Overview

SMITH Northview Hospital

4280 North Valdosta Road, Valdosta 229-671-2000 :: www.smithhospital.com By Amanda Knoles

Services Founded in Hahira in 1943 as SMITH Hospital, SMITH Northview Hospital (SNH) moved to Valdosta in 2002 and opened a 72,000-square-foot facility for personalized inpatient care, obstetrics, surgery (outpatient, inpatient, and ICU), and diagnostic procedures. Currently with more than 400 employees and more than 120 physicians on staff, SNH handles a broad spectrum of health care. Surgery services include outpatient, orthopedic, and general surgery. The 24-Hour Emergency Care Department is among the finest in the state, and the hospital has earned the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations. SNH takes pride in the full range of diagnostic procedures, including laboratory services, non-invasive cardiac testing, ultrasound, EEG, MRI, mammography, and endoscopy. A new Radiology Procedures and Nuclear Medicine Unit opened in 2004, and the hospital recently upgraded to stateof-the-art MRI and CT scanners that provide up to three times higher resolution. Among other services at SNH are obstetrics, including private labor and delivery suites and nursery and postpartum care; respiratory therapy; pain management; inpatient dialysis; the Lap-Band procedure; dental/oral surgery; and CPR classes.

New Construction and Upgraded Treatment A new Pediatric After Hours Center opened in September 2008, and ground was broken in fall 2008 on an expansion of the Labor and Delivery area. Other new services include GreenLight Laser Therapy, a minimally invasive outpatient procedure for relieving enlarged prostate symptoms in a single visit. The hospital has also made a commitment to “going green,” with several ongoing projects aimed at making the facility more eco-conscious and environmentally friendly. SMITH Northview’s recently upgraded online services offer patients the option of connecting with physicians online, plus the convenience of a medical research search engine and links to other helpful sites, including The Home Safety Council, a medical dictionary and drug encyclopedia.

www.valdostachamber.com 15


Overview Health Care

Home Health Care Providers Amedisys Home Health............. 229-245-0646 www.amedisys.com American Home Patient............ 229-244-2467 www.ahom.com Comfort Keepers....................... 229-241-0002 www.comfortkeepers.com Georgia Home Health Services... 229-247-4663 Home Instead Senior Care........ 229-245-0123 www.homeinstead.com Intrepid USA.............................. 229-247-7760 www.intrepidusa.com

Hospice Bethany Hospice....................... 229-249-8687 www.bethany-hospice.com Grace Hospice........................... 229-333-5005 www.gracehospicellc.com Hospice of South Georgia & Langdale Hospice House......... 229-249-4100 UniHealth Source of Valdosta... 229-241-8750 United Hospice, Inc................... 229-242-1187

Other Regional Health Service Providers By Amanda Knoles

• Baptist Village, Lake Park, a 40-bed facility, provides retirement and assisted living with 24-hour staffing, meals provided, housekeeping, transportation, and personal services. 229-559-1182; www.baptistvillage.com • Brooks County Hospital is a 35-bed facility offering radiology, dialysis, cardiovascular, and rehabilitation services in partnership with Archbold Medical Center. 229-263-4171; www.archbold.org. • Children’s Medical Services provides help for special-needs children and children with chronic illnesses. 229-245-4310. • Fellowship Home in Valdosta provides retirement and assisted living options in a country setting, with personalized care and active lifestyle in a Christian environment. 229-244-9200; www.fellowshiphome.net. • Greenleaf Center, a service of South Georgia Health System (SGHS), is a 70-bed regional psychiatric and chemical dependency hospital providing inpatient and outpatient program for adults, seniors, teens, and children. 229-247-4357. • Jesse Lyle Parrott Community Health Center is a public health clinic in Hahira providing immediate and medical care. • Langdale Place, a three-story senior living facility and a service of SGHS, offers assisted living and independent living suites in addition to The Palms, a secured 14-unit wing. 229-247-4300. • Louis Smith Memorial Hospital/Lakeland Villa Convalescent Center in Lakeland is a 25-bed critical access hospital with a 24-hour emergency room and its neighboring 62-bed nursing home. The facilities are part of Lanier Health Services, which is affiliated with SGHS. 229-482-8440.

16 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

• Lowndes County Health Services offers four nursing homes, including Heritage House, Crestwood, Holly Hill, and Lakehaven. Each facility provides shortand long-term rehabilitation, including occupational, physical, and speech therapies. 229-242-7368. • Presbyterian Home in Quitman features a beautifully landscaped 60-acre campus for older adults. Independent seniors can choose from cottage homes and apartments, while those needing help with daily routines will find two levels of assisted living accommodations and service. • South Central Georgia Help Line 211 provides free access to health and human services information and referrals to local organizations such as United Way, South Georgia Coalition to End Homelessness, Southland Church, and Family Connection. Dial 2-1-1.


Overview Government

Introducing

Lowndes County By Amanda Knoles & Laura Wilcoxen

City of Valdosta

Lowndes County

www.valdostacity.com

www.lowndescounty.com

L

owndes County is comprised of five incorporated cities: Dasher, Hahira, Lake Park, Remerton, and Valdosta. One of the fastest-growing counties in Georgia — having grown by more than 13.5 percent between 2000 and 2008 — Lowndes is led by a County Board of Commissioners (a chairman plus three commissioners representing the three districts of the county). A county manager and a staff of more than 500 manage daily operations to meet the needs of more than 100,000 residents.

Highlights of services include: • Lowndes County’s E/911 Center is one of only 40 nationally accredited centers in the United States. • The Lowndes County Finance Department has been recognized nationally as a recipient of the Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Award. • The Lowndes County Utilities Department is a past winner of the Georgia Water and Pollution Control Association’s “Best Operated Water Distribution System Award.” • The county provides six recycling centers for community use. • The county’s Information Technology Services Department has installed 15 miles of fiber optic cable and more than 80 miles of Cat 5 cable, creating a stateof-the-art computing and networking infrastructure for the county. • The county is completing an overhaul of its Web site that will allow residents to pay their utilities bills and taxes online. 18 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

S

ince its incorporation as a city in 1860, Valdosta has led the way in progressive government for South Georgia. The hub of the metropolitan area as well as being the county seat, the city has consistently maintained a balanced budget and has provided quality services for its citizens through its elected mayor and council/city manager form of government. Service and achievement highlights include: • The city grew by more than 11 percent between 2000 and 2008. • Valdosta adopted a decreased millage rate for citizens of 4.112 mills in 2008, down from the previous year’s 4.178 mills. It is the eighth time the city’s millage rate has been lowered in the last 15 years. • The Valdosta Fire Department was selected by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency to facilitate one of four Georgia Search and Rescue Teams in the state. The department maintains an ISO Class 2 rating, one of the best in the state.

• In 2008, the Valdosta Police Department received its re-accreditation and was designated a “Flagship Agency” for the second time in three years by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). • The Grants Administration Office secured almost $4 million in grant funds for city programs and initiatives in FY 2008. • Valdosta City Hall is featured in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “This Place Matters” campaign, an initiative that is helping communities protect, enhance, and enjoy the places that matter to them. • The Valdosta Historic Preservation Committee is responsible for ensuring that new development in the city’s Historic District is consistent with adopted guidelines. • In 2008, Valdosta, in partnership with the city of Remerton, was selected to participate in the Georgia Department of Community Affairs’ “Signature Community” program.


Government Overview

Lowndes County Communities Dasher Home to 849 residents, Dasher is a prosperous community just eight miles from Valdosta. Hahira www.hahira.ga.us

Hahira is a small town whose secret is getting out — the population grew by more than 51 percent between 2000 and 2008, and is currently estimated at 2,465. Located 11 miles north of Valdosta, Hahira was chosen a “Better Hometown Community” for the revitalization and redevelopment of the historic downtown, which features delightful shopping and dining. It’s

Praising Valdosta-Lowndes County By Amanda Knoles & Laura Wilcoxen

I

n 2008, Valdosta caught the attention of a variety of national publications, which showered praise on the city. The recognition included:

a wonderfully healthy and “walkable” community, as most residents are within walking distance of shopping and services. The community has been designated as “Tree City U.S.A.” for 18 consecutive years, and residents take pride in five well-maintained parks for enjoying outdoor recreation. A full-service community, Hahira boasts state-of-the-art 24-hour fire and police protection that earned the community honors in the Governor’s Challenge Awards.

 Lake Park Lake Park, located off I-75 and 15 minutes south of Valdosta, boasts the moniker “Gateway to the South” and offers an abundance of campgrounds and outlet malls. With a current population of 609 residents, Lake Park anticipates continued growth as

more people move south to take advantage of its affordable lifestyle and recreational opportunities for boating, sailing, fishing, and golfing. Remerton www.cityofremerton.com

A “city within a city,” Remerton is completely contained within the limits of the city of Valdosta. Remerton originally sprung up as company housing for workers at Strickland Cotton Mills, developing with its own school, churches, and village store. Remerton was incorporated in 1951 and is today a growing city of 1,027 with its own fully functioning government. Services include fire and police protection, public works, utilities, and a mayor/council administration.

• Valdosta was chosen by Relocate-America as one of the “Top 100 Places To Live.” • Valdosta ranked as the fifth-highest MSA in the nation in property value retention in a June report released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. • National Geographic Adventure magazine honored Valdosta as Georgia’s “Best Adventure Town” in its “50 Best Places to Live & Play” issue. • Fans across the nation voted Valdosta “TitleTown USA” in an ESPN poll. • Southern Business & Development magazine listed Valdosta among the “Top 200 Great Locations in the South for Aviation & Aerospace.” • The Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority was one of only five national recipients of Expansion Solution magazine’s “Award of Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing.” • Valdosta’s “First Friday” event garnered the Valdosta Main Street Program and the Downtown Valdosta Business Association the “Best Retail Booster” award from the Georgia Downtown Association and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. • The American Heart Association dubbed the city of Valdosta a “Fit Friendly Company” for its employee fitness programs. The city’s fitness programs were also featured in the October issue of Forbes magazine. • Forbes also recognized Valdosta among its “Best Small Places for Business or Careers.” • Valdosta’s Main Street program was recognized for the 12th consecutive year as an “Accredited National Main Street Program” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Georgia Main Street Program. • Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce received the U.S. Chamber’s highest level of accreditation in 2008. www.valdostachamber.com 19


Overview Government

Community Resources Directory All area codes are 229 unless otherwise noted. | Dial 911 for emergencies.

City of Valdosta

City of Lake Park

216 E. Central Avenue, Valdosta 242-2600 :: www.valdostacity.com

120 Essa Street, Lake Park 559-7470

City Manager ................................................................................ 259-3500 Community Development............................................................... 259-3561 Engineering .................................................................................. 259-3530 Finance ........................................................................................ 259-3512 Fire (non-emergency) .................................................................... 333-1835 Human Resources ......................................................................... 259-3544 Information Technology .................................................................. 671-3624 Inspections ................................................................................... 259-3506 Library Main Branch, Woodrow Wilson Drive ............................................. 333-0086 McMullen Southside Branch, Griffin Avenue ................................... 253-8313 Police (non-emergency) ................................................................. 245-5270 Post Office.................................................................................... 259-9703 Public Works................................................................................. 259-3588 Purchasing ................................................................................... 259-3525 Recreation and Parks .................................................................... 259-3507 Recycling Industrial Boulevard...................................................................... 245-5333 Ousley Road ................................................................................ 244-1336 Pine Grove Road .......................................................................... 249-8740 Schools, Valdosta City ................................................................... 333-8500 Utility Services .............................................................................. 259-3510 Voter Registration.......................................................................... 671-2850 Zoning.......................................................................................... 259-3563

Fire (non-emergency) .................................................................... 559-7470 Library ......................................................................................... 559-8016 Recycling...................................................................................... 559-5454 Trash Pickup ................................................................................. 559-7470 Voter Registration.......................................................................... 559-7470 Water ........................................................................................... 559-7470

City of Dasher 3686 Highway 41 South, Dasher 559-3164

City of Hahira 102 Church Street, Hahira 794-2330 :: www.hahira.ga.us

Animal Shelter .............................................................................. 671-2760 Fire (non-emergency) .................................................................... 794-2830 Library ......................................................................................... 794-3063 Police (non-emergency) ................................................................. 794-4010 Post Office.................................................................................... 794-8132 Recycling...................................................................................... 794-1068 Trash Pickup ................................................................................. 794-2330 Voter Registration.......................................................................... 794-2330 Water and Sewer .......................................................................... 794-2330

20 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

City of Remerton 1757 Poplar Street, Remerton 247-2320 :: www.cityofremerton.com

Police (non-emergency) ................................................................. 247-2329

Lowndes County www.lowndescounty.com

911/Emergency Management Center Administration ....................... 245-5246 Administration .............................................................................. 671-2400 Animal Shelter .............................................................................. 671-2760 Board of Assessors ....................................................................... 671-2540 Board of Elections ......................................................................... 671-2850 Clerk Superior and State Courts ..................................................... 333-5127 County Clerk ................................................................................. 671-2400 County Manager ........................................................................... 671-2435 Dispute Resolution ........................................................................ 245-0248 District Attorney ............................................................................ 244-7170 Emergency Management ............................................................... 671-2790 Engineering .................................................................................. 671-2424 Finance ........................................................................................ 671-2526 Fire and Rescue (non-emergency) .................................................. 671-2730 Information Technology Systems .................................................... 671-2450 Magistrate Court Civil Division ........................................................ 671-2610 Motor Vehicles .............................................................................. 333-5385 Occupational Tax ........................................................................... 671-2534 Probate Court ............................................................................... 671-2650 Public Works................................................................................. 671-2700 Schools, Lowndes County .............................................................. 245-2250 Sheriff’s Office (non-emergency) .................................................... 671-2900 State Court ................................................................................... 671-2510 Tax Commissioner/Tag Office ......................................................... 671-2579 Utilities ......................................................................................... 671-2500


Government

Overview

Local Utilities Cable Charter Communications ........................................................ 800-955-7766 Mediacom .................................................................................... 244-4400

Electricity Colquitt EMC ................................................................................ 244-6893 Georgia Power Company ........................................................ 888-660-5890

Natural Gas Atlanta Gas Light .......................................................................... 219-7044 Commerce Energy ................................................................. 877-226-5389 Coweta-Fayette EMC .............................................................. 877-746-4362 Georgia Natural Gas ............................................................... 877-850-6200 Infinite Energy ........................................................................ 877-483-4684 MX Energy ............................................................................. 877-677-4355

Telephone AT&T ..................................................................................... 888-620-6000 Nations Link Communications ........................................................ 245-1099 Sprint .................................................................................... 800-877-7746 Windstream Telephone Co. ..................................................... 800-501-1754

Trash Removal Milo Sanitation .............................................................................. 559-0650

Legislators Visit www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/FindLegislator.htm if you don’t know which district you reside in. State Governor Sonny Perdue .......................................................... 404-656-1776 Rep. Penny Houston (R-170th District)..................................... 404-656-0202 Rep. Ellis Black (D-174th District)............................................ 912-559-7546 Rep. Amy Carter (D-175th District) ................................................. 245-2733 Rep. Jay Shaw (D-176th District) ................................................... 482-3505 Sen. Greg Goggans (R-7th District).......................................... 912-260-0057 Sen. Tim Golden (D-8th District) ..................................................... 241-1284

Federal Rep. Jack Kingston (R-1) ........................................................ 202-225-5831 Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (D-2) .............................................. 202-225-3631 Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) ....................................................... 202-224-3521 Sen. Johnny Isakson (R) ......................................................... 202-224-3643

Miscellaneous Chamber of Commerce ................................................................. 247-8100 The Greeting Service (South Georgia Newcomers) ........................... 245-8383 Mall Valdosta ................................................................................ 242-0457 Moody Air Force Base ................................................................... 257-1110 Poison Control ....................................................................... 800-222-1222 SMITH Northview Hospital.............................................................. 671-2000 South Georgia Medical Center........................................................ 333-1000 Valdosta Daily Times ..................................................................... 244-1880 Valdosta-Lowndes County Conference Center & Tourism Authority ......................................... 245-0513

www.valdostachamber.com 21


Workforce Development & Education

Lowndes County School System

1592 Norman Drive, Valdosta 229-245-2250 :: www.lowndes.k12.ga.us/

“Working Together for Excellence Every Day”

• Named “Board of Distinction” and “Standard Based Board” by Georgia School Board Association. • Designated “Tech Savvy” by the Center for Digital Education and the National School Board Association. • 2008 Georgia High School Distinguished Principal. • Georgia Platinum Award Winner for greatest gains in students achievement. • Georgia High School Association Sportsmanship Award for six consecutive years. • Hahira Middle School named a “National Lighthouse School to Watch.” • Seven consecutive years of gains in academic achievement.

Wholesale Distributor Plumbing Supplies

Office: (229) 333-9700 Fax: (229) 333-9755

2517-H Bemiss Road PO Box 2305 Valdosta, GA 31602

22 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

Public Education

Hahira Middle School: A Lighthouse School to Watch By Jay Nehrkorn

T

he National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform launched the Schools to Watch program in 1999 to recognize schools that exhibit high performance in academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and organizational structure. After an extensive application and evaluation process, the state legislature has named Lowndes County School System’s Hahira Middle School as one of only 14 Georgia “Lighthouse Schools to Watch.” More than just a means to a title, the process of becoming a Lighthouse School has been an exercise in strengthening relationships and building even greater confidence at HMS. “The process of becoming a Lighthouse School to Watch was not about putting on a show for a team of evaluators in order to win an award,” said Assistant Principal Heather Bonner. “It was a yearlong reflective exercise for our teachers, who worked collaboratively to illustrate how HMS teachers, students, and community members pursue excellence in all that we do.” While Hahira Middle School already had high standards for faculty and students — HMS was a Georgia School of Excellence in 2008 — they raised the bar even higher as they pressed toward Lighthouse School

designation. Curriculum unit maps were revised, structured weekly teacher meetings were implemented, and they pushed to increase professional learning for best practices. More than just focusing on “how,” they also focused on “who” in terms of relationships within the educational system and the community. Efforts were expanded to enhance parent–teacher communications, and the Teacher as Advisor program gave every student at least one adult advocate in the building for stronger relationships between the school, students, and parents. “For students to excel at HMS, teachers believe that relationships must be built with the student and the parent,” said Principal Kip McLeod, who expects to see an increase in student achievement as well as student attendance as a result of the changes. While the never-ending journey of continuous improvement was the purpose in working toward the Lighthouse School to Watch designation, receiving the award itself has been a gratifying experience for the school. “This recognition has increased confidence and reinforced the staff and students’ efforts to work together for excellence,” Assistant Principal Bonner said. “However, we are not satisfied … and we’re always striving to improve.”


Workforce Development & Education

Valdosta City Schools: “Imagine the Possibilities” • Total enrollment, 2008: 7,377. • Average class sizes: kindergarten, 15; primary (grades one through three), 16; elementary (grades four and five), 20; middle school (grades six through eight), 22; high school (grades nine through 12), 19. • 2008 Georgia Science Teacher of Promise. • Five new facilities constructed since 2000. • High school campus is home to new performing arts center. • 1204 Williams Street, Valdosta 229-333-8500 :: www.gocats.org

24 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

Public Education

Valdosta High Rallies Around International Baccalaureate Diploma By Jay Nehrkorn

V

aldosta resident Kelly Wilson first heard about International Baccalaureate (IB) Programmes during a conversation with friends from a neighboring state. Intrigued by what she heard, she did some research and then approached the Valdosta City Schools board with the idea of incorporating the curriculum. As it turned out, Valdosta City Schools Superintendent Dr. Bill Cason was also familiar with IB, having implemented it in another district, and he too approached the board in favor of offering IB Programmes. The board gave approval for Valdosta High School to pursue International Baccalaureate Organization certification. After a long qualification process and a lot of hard work, VHS is now one of only 26 schools in the state of Georgia to offer the IB Diploma Programme. The International Baccalaureate Organization is a nonprofit educational foundation that seeks to create a better world through education. Formed in 1968 to help internationally mobile students receive a consistent, high-quality college-preparatory education, IB Programmes are now offered at more than 2,700 schools in nearly 140 countries worldwide. IBO standards are very high, and the curriculum is designed to encourage students to learn how to learn, to communicate effectively with people of other cultures, to be creative, and to serve others. VHS already offered rigorous educational programs before adding the IB Diploma as an option, so increasing academic rigor wasn’t the only reason for embracing the curriculum. Dr. Cason said that there are a lot of intangibles that go along with IB, including improvements in discipline, attitude, and school pride. The school’s IB Programme Coordinator, Betsy McTier, echoed that sentiment when she pointed out how the curriculum is designed not only to help participants become better students, but to become better people as well. “The students will not only be receiving an academic education, but also one that focuses on our responsibility as humans to be empathetic to others, serve others, and accept the ideals of others,” McTier explained. For parents like Kelly Wilson, the recognition that the IB Diploma Programme receives from universities worldwide was another important reason for making it available at VHS. “The IB stamp on a diploma is often a ticket to the college of your choice,” she said. “At some colleges, IB graduates can actually start as sophomores because the IB requirements are so high.”


Higher Education

Workforce Development & Education

Community Capital: VSU’s SIFE Students Build Multipurpose Learning Center By Thressea H. Boyd

F

or more than 15 years, members of Valdosta State University’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) have contributed their talents and knowledge to educational projects that help improve the lives of citizens throughout the Valdosta community. In 2008, this group of dedicated students volunteered more than 10,000 hours to programs primarily designed for school-aged children. Entrepreneurship, financial responsibility, environmental awareness, ethics, and computer skills are only a small sample of the more than 45 programs administered by SIFE. Teaching basic computer skills and financial literacy to school-aged children at the Ora Lee West Community Center is a favorite project for many SIFE members. The after-school program is packed with neighborhood children who are eager to improve their computer skills. The enthusiasm and energy of these children inspired and challenged SIFE members to do even more — it is from this passion that the SIFE Skills Success Center was developed. Members of SIFE and its Business Advisory Board rallied communitywide support to build a multipurpose learning facility that will address the social, economic, and educational needs of children and families who live near the community center. Construction on the 1,700-squarefoot dynamic learning center is scheduled to began in fall 2009. The facility will feature specifically designed areas for music, art, science/math, reading, and computer instruction.

Valdosta State University

1500 N. Patterson Street, Valdosta 229-333-5800 :: www.valdosta.edu

• President: Dr. Patrick J. Schloss. • One of 35 institutions within the University System of Georgia. • Premier regional university with approximately 12,000 students. • Major provider of education services for South Georgia. • More than 100 major degree programs. • Expansive study abroad and international exchange opportunities. • Dedicated, student-centered faculty. • Extensive student life opportunities — more than 140 active student organizations.

“The Skills Success Center has been a dream for many years,” said Dr. Wayne Plumly, SIFE’s faculty advisor and interim dean of VSU’s Harley Langdale College of Business Administration. “Over the years, SIFE members have realized that as a group they could do so much more to assist these children in reaching their full potential.” Thomas Newbern, president of First Federal Savings and Loan and SIFE Business Advisory Board president, spearheaded the project along with Plumly, which continues to gain community support. Newbern said the bank enthusiastically supports SIFE’s ambitious endeavor and is eager to collaborate with other businesses. Pinnacle Prime Contractors, McCall & Associates Inc., Southeastern Federal Credit Union, Ace Electric, Georgia Power, Colman Talley LLP, and the Valdosta Housing Authority have all contributed to the realization of the center. “The idea of a learning center for the children was a very easy sell,” Plumly said. “Valdosta has a big heart, and members of the SIFE Business Advisory Board have played a significant role in making this dream come true.” Plumly explains that SIFE provides its members with an opportunity to learn outside the classroom, and by helping others, they are making meaningful contributions to the community — while gaining valuable lessons to help them become better leaders in the future. “All of our SIFE projects are outside-the-classroom experiences that increase the selfworth and self-confidence of the students,” Plumly said. “By helping others they are helping themselves — they can go home at night knowing that they made a difference in someone else’s life.” www.valdostachamber.com 25


Workforce Development & Education

Higher Education

Going Green in Every Color:

VtC’s Eco-Friendly Paint Program By Jay Nehrkorn

M

any years ago, Henry Ford told the world that they could buy his cars in any color they wanted — as long as they wanted black. In the near future, it will be said that you can have your car painted with any paint you want — just so long as it’s “green.” California requires the use of eco-friendly waterborne paints, rather than traditional solvent-based paints, for vehicle repairs. Other states are expected to follow suit, and many in the auto repair industry will soon be required to learn a whole new painting process.

26 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

Some forward-thinking Valdosta Technical College students in the Auto Collision Repair (ACR) program saw the writing on the wall, and in early 2009 they asked for the chance to get a jump on the learning curve for waterborne paints. Thinking they would need to lobby for money to fund the addition to the curriculum, they prepared an elaborate presentation for VTC President Dr. F.D. Toth. As it turned out, Dr. Toth liked the idea so much that he approved the addition before they even got the chance to present. While the school had to make a significant investment in equipment, they also got some


Higher Education Workforce Development & Education

Valdosta Technical College

4089 Val Tech Road, Valdosta 229-333-2100 :: www.valdostatech.edu

• VTC is a two-year technical college that offers associate degrees, diplomas, and technical certificates of credit in over 135 career fields. • Over 98 percent of graduates either gain employment or continue their education upon program completion.

• Valdosta Tech strongly supports economic development in the area by providing the workforce with highly qualified graduates, as well as through specialized workforce training, continuing education, and GED preparation courses. • Valdosta Tech’s main campus, Cook County Workforce Development Center, and Moody Air Force Base Extended Campus allow the college to conveniently serve more than 10,000 traditional, continuing education, adult education, and contract training students in the six-county service area. • VTC is the only college to offer a one-year control tower operator certificate through Advanced ATC, Inc. • A new 93,000-square-foot building houses a library, auditorium, executive boardroom, classrooms, computer labs, and president’s suite.

help from corporate sponsors like Butler Supply Company, which donated a paint gun. Paint supplier DuPont also chipped in, donating close to $14,000 in equipment and sending an instructor to VTC to teach the waterborne painting process. “The college has always been quick to respond to students’ requests to learn new things, and DuPont has been a fantastic corporate partner,” said Mark Whitson, ACR program director. While the school will be “shooting” with both types of paint for a while, he would like to eventually phase out the solvent-based paints completely in the future. In the meantime, he’s very excited that VTC is in the forefront on teaching this new skill. “We’re one of the few technical schools in the nation to start picking this up and using it,” Whitson said. “This is really huge for the school, the students, and for the environment.” Thanks to the college’s quick response and some help from industry suppliers, VTC’s 2009 ACR graduates got a jump-start on a pollution-reducing technology and learned a skill that will soon be in high demand. Now they’re out in the workforce teaching their new employers how to paint in any color and still “go green.”

www.valdostachamber.com 27


Pro-Business Environment

Targeted Business Expansion Program

By Jay Nehrkorn

T

he most valuable asset for the future of a community is the talent of its young people, but finding ways to create local career opportunities that keep young people close to home after graduation is a challenge for most small cities. The business leaders and educators of Valdosta-Lowndes County are working together to meet that challenge head-on through the Targeted Business Expansion Program, designed to create a well-trained, homegrown workforce that actually enhances the area’s recruitment of knowledge-based industries such as information technology, environmental technology, and medical services. The result has been a line of communication that creates a winning scenario for employers, graduates, the schools, and the community. One local business participating in this cooperative environment, Azalea Health Innovations is a provider of Web-based software services to the health care industry; the company was founded by VSU graduates. Baha Zeidan, CEO and co-founder of AHI, says that they still maintain a good relationship with VSU faculty and regularly return to the university’s CS department to talk to students about what they do and recruit interns, who often become full-time employees after graduation. “Almost a year ago, we went to VSU and spoke on cloud computing, which uses a Web browser, rather than traditional operating systems and hardware, as the platform for applications,” Mr. Zeidan said. “Since that time, the university has included cloud computing within their curriculum, and we’re now interviewing students that have learned about it in school.” VSU isn’t the only school in Lowndes County listening to what targeted industries have to say. Part of Valdosta Technical College’s mission is to work with business and industry to produce graduates who are prepared to play vital roles as employees. VSU’s Information Systems Program’s active advisory committee is made up of area business leaders, educators, and representatives from key industries and employers. IS Program Coordinator Lynn Bowen says that the committee’s feedback helps the program stay current with industry needs in terms of curriculum, offerings, and equipment. “If you use your advisory committee’s input properly, they are a very valuable tool,” Bowen said. Career preparation isn’t just for college students, either. Lowndes County High School participates in the Education Career Partnership Program, which cooperates with both VTC and VSU to provide high school students the chance to earn professional-level certifications in targeted areas. Valdosta High School’s Healthcare Science Program is preparing students to enter the workforce as well. Students in the course get the chance to participate in on-site visits and can obtain their CNA Certificate by completing the curriculum at school and clinical hours outside class. “The health care industry is one of the largest employers in our community,” said Valdosta High’s CTAE Coordinator George Ward. “Providing students with the tools to enter directly into the field or obtain more advanced training is a win-win situation for both students and employers.” While the students and employers in the area may get the most direct benefits from the Targeted Business Expansion Program, the schools are also prospering by showcasing their graduates’ success within the local business community as a recruiting tool. “Valdosta State University prides itself on its close relationship to the business community,” said VSU President Patrick J. Schloss. “Our field placement in the local schools, medical center, and businesses is second to none. “There are many variables that draw a student to attend VSU, and we never underestimate the attraction this community has within our recruiting efforts,” Schloss continued. “Valdosta State graduates approximately 2,000 students each year, and we want those individuals to remain in Valdosta when they graduate.” In the end, the citizens of the community at large are the biggest winners of all. The efforts that benefit businesses, students, and schools allow them to keep their talented young people home in Lowndes County to build a future even brighter than the present.

28 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

Scen The result has been a line of communication that creates a winning scenario for employers, graduates, the schools, and the community.


nario

Targeted Business Expansion Program

Pro-Business Environment

www.valdostachamber.com 29


Location Division of Labor – Singularity of Purpose

“No Wrong Door” Philosophy T

he business environment in ValdostaLowndes County has received many accolades. Valdosta was named third-best MSA in its class for industrial recruitment and expansion by Site Selection magazine, one of the top 100 best small places in the United States for businesses or careers by Forbes magazine, and the fifth-best destination for logistics by Expansion Solutions magazine, and it has the highest retail pull factor in the whole state of Georgia. So what sort of magic have the economic development professionals here invoked to pull all of this off? There’s actually no magic to it — it’s about each agency setting egos aside to share their expertise and achievements with

30 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

each other to streamline the licensing, permitting, and inspections process for businesses and entrepreneurs. The Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce refers to this spirit of departmental specialization and interagency teamwork as the “No Wrong Door” philosophy. While there is a clear division of labor among the entities involved, a prospective business can approach any of them and end up with the support that they need from all of them. “There’s no one in the community who has any doubt about what they need to do with a manufacturer that walks in their door; and there’s no one who has any doubt where an early-stage startup business needs to be taken,” said Chamber President Myrna Ballard. “That’s

By Jay Nehrkorn

not to say there aren’t overlaps — there should be, because you don’t want gaps between your economic development organizations. But we don’t duplicate each other’s services.” Since many prospective clients have a variety of needs that require multiple types of expertise, the economic developers in Valdosta pool their resources and transfer clients to where they need to be to get the best level of service. Brad Lofton, the executive director of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority, says that the agencies in the area have become really good at transferring clients when the situation is warranted. Valdosta City Economic Development Coordinator Ruby Riesinger feels that one of her primary roles is to act as a link between all of the agencies, businesses, and the city itself. “We each provide services for, and links into, recruiting new businesses to our area,” Riesinger said. “Our city has a great team of professionals, working together to make the Valdosta MSA a business-friendly community.” Valdosta-Lowndes County’s phenomenal growth is built on the commitment of the professionals in the economic development arena to put the needs of prospective businesses and the community ahead of glory and credit. While each of the organizations involved has its own distinct role to play, their singularity of purpose brings them together for best possible benefit of the clients they serve. Thanks to this mindset, it doesn’t matter which door you walk through first — as long as it’s a door in Lowndes County, you’ve come to the right place.


Division of Labor – Singularity of Purpose

VALET By Amanda Knoles

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he Valdosta and Lowndes Expansion Team (VALET) fosters economic development in Lowndes County by bringing together professionals and organizations that provide direct service to businesses and entrepreneurs. Originated in 2007 as an initiative to help with new business incentives, VALET has evolved into a rapid-response team, responding to business and industry needs and providing valuable educational resources to help entrepreneurs navigate the red tape involved in business startups. “We foster partnerships among all types of organizations dealing with new businesses,” explained Tara Nichols, vice president of business development and expansion for the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber. “All local city, county, and regional economic development departments come together through VALET to discuss and resolve issues and stay informed about what everyone else is doing.” VALET also helps organize the Chamber’s Business Outlook Breakfast, an annual event where University of Georgia Economist Dr. Jeffrey Humphries presents his highly anticipated economic forecast. Dr. Cliff Lipscomb and Dr. Cynthia Tori, professors from Valdosta State University, also share their projections on

Georgia’s economic climate, county business, and the local housing market. Nichols says the need for an organization like VALET became apparent because of issues arising with small business owners who weren’t aware of rules and procedures, such as obtaining a business license, getting zoning permits, and following prescribed city and county regulations. “We help educate people about the process, and this benefits the city and county, as they have fewer violations to deal with,” Nichols said. Another important mission of VALET is to enhance the pro-business environment in the county by adhering to the “No Wrong Door” philosophy (see page 30). This results in a collaboration of public and private partners who provide leadership, resources, funding, and access to consistent information such as business intelligence, workforce training, and personal development courses. A survey of local businesses conducted by the VALET team last year brought to the forefront some of the problems the group hopes to help resolve. “We plan to have ongoing educational courses for real estate agents and contractors

Location

“All local city, county, and regional economic development departments come together through VALET to discuss and resolve issues and stay informed about what everyone else is doing.” so they can stay abreast of building and zoning codes and other relevant topics,” Nichols noted. “We’re also working on an Internet portal where partner sites can be accessed for business information and where stepby-step guidelines are available to help new businesses get up and running as smoothly as possible.” The participation level in VALET and the positive reaction has far exceeded the committee’s expectations. “We have great representation from every economic development organization in the county,” Nichols noted. “They have all voiced the need for a group like ours, and just the fact that so many different organizations are coming together is a huge accomplishment for us and very gratifying. “Through VALET, we’re working together with a unified pro-business goal for Valdosta and Lowndes County.”

www.valdostachamber.com 31


Small Business & Entrepreneur Development

Paving the Road to Success

S.E.E.D.S. Center of South Georgia By Jay Nehrkorn

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To encourage excellence in the planning stages of new businesses and to ensure that more of these local businesses succeed, Guardian Bank and the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber have teamed up for the annual Guardian Bank Business Plan Competition, coordinated by the Chamber. The winner receives thousands of dollars of startup capital, in-kind professional services, and advertising for their business. In turn, they must commit to hiring local university or technical school graduates, creating jobs that keep grads in Valdosta. 32 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

ittle did former New Orleans resident Brian Antoine know that the 2005 nightmare of Hurricane Katrina would become part of his journey toward fulfilling a dream. The aftermath of the hurricane’s destruction led Brian and his family to relocate to Valdosta in 2006, and it was here that he left a 17-year career with the U.S. Postal Service to start a new life as a restaurateur. “I’ve always loved cooking; it’s a passion of mine, and I’d always dreamed about owning a restaurant,” Brian said. “So I talked to my wife about it and finally decided to check into it.” But starting and operating a successful restaurant is about a lot more than just excellent food, so Brian took a class on how to start a business at the SBDC. He learned that one of the most important steps for starting a new enterprise is writing a good business plan, and that a good plan requires a wealth of very specific information. Luckily, Brian found plenty of experts ready to help in Valdosta. “It was just amazing all of the information I needed,” Brian recalled. “I was wondering where all of it would come from; but the S.E.E.D.S. Center provided all of that to me — everything I asked. “They also offered free one-hour consultations with a number of different professionals. It’s so hard to come up with up-front money

to start a business if you’re spending it all on lawyers, architects, and accountants, but that one free hour with each of them set me on the way and let me see the big picture.” In early 2007, Brian approached several local bankers, who complimented him on one of the best business plans they had ever seen. His loan was approved in March, and on September 23, 2007, Antoine’s The Flavor of New Orleans opened its doors and began offering delicious, authentic New Orleans cuisine in Valdosta. Since then, the restaurant has been so successful that it was named the Chamber’s “Minority-Owned Business of the Year” in 2009, and it has been featured in a number of magazines and news stories. For Brian Antoine, the restaurant and its success are everything he’d dreamed of — and more. Along with professional consultation and a wide variety of customized market research, the S.E.E.D.S. Center offers small-business development services, targeted sales leads, franchise information, corporate coaches, retail recruitment, and more. It’s the perfect starting point for people who are ready to stop dreaming about opening a business and begin the process of making it happen. www.seedscenterofsga.com


Paving the Road to Success

Small Business & Entrepreneur Development

Georgia’s First “Entrepreneur Friendly” Community By Amanda Knoles

I

n 2004, the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber saw the need for a stronger focus on growing entrepreneurial ideas into business realities. The Chamber began the process of creating new support mechanisms for aspiring entrepreneurs. At the same time, the Georgia Department of Economic Development identified the need for community-based entrepreneur initiatives and began to build a program to help communities become “Entrepreneur Friendly.” Working in close communication with the Georgia Department of Economic Development as the program was developed, the ValdostaLowndes County Chamber implemented bold steps toward meeting their goals, which included an innovative business plan competition, regional economic gardening using Geographical Information Systems, and development of the S.E.E.D.S. Center to provide critical resources to early stage entrepreneurs. In 2005, Valdosta became the first MSA in Georgia to receive the state’s “Entrepreneur Friendly” designation. Several years and hundreds of entrepreneurs later, they continue to expand opportunities and live up to that title.

www.valdostachamber.com 33


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Paving the Road to Success

Business Resources By Jay Nehrkorn

Small Business & Entrepreneur Development

in Valdosta-Lowndes County

Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

416 North Ashley Street, Valdosta 229-247-8100 :: www.valdostachamber.com

The Chamber provides a focal point and a voice for business in the community, as well as excellent resources for entrepreneurs in the first stages of developing a new business. With over 1,500 members and a long list of accomplishments, they have achieved 5-Star Accreditation by the United States Chamber of Commerce.

Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority

Valdosta State University Small Business Development Center

1500 N. Patterson St. Thraxton Hall Room 101, Valdosta 229-245-3738 :: www.valdosta.edu/sbdc/

The Small Business Development Center at VSU provides free and confidential business consulting services and entrepreneurial training throughout a 10-county service area in South Central Georgia. One of the 17 offices in the Georgia SBDC Network, the VSU SBDC is an excellent resource for small-business owners and entrepreneurs in today’s challenging business environment.

2110 N. Patterson Street, Suite A, Valdosta 229-259-9972 :: www.industrialauthority.com

The Industrial Authority was formed to recruit and support industry in ValdostaLowndes County and handle the oversight of industrial and economic development in the area. The V-LCIA accomplishes its goals through vehicles such as tax incentives, land holdings, permitting and infrastructure assistance, engineering resources, and training incentives.

City of Valdosta Economic Development Office

P.O. Box 1125, Valdosta 229-671-3658 :: www.valdostacity.com

The Valdosta Economic Development Office provides critical information concerning the city/region, supporting the recruitment and retention of retailers, restaurants, and other businesses within the city limits.

City of Valdosta Main Street Program 300 N. Lee Street, Valdosta 229-259-3577 :: www.valdostacity.com :: www.valdostamainstreet.com

The Valdosta Main Street Program is focused on the revitalization and promotion of the city’s historic 26-block downtown area. The staff is actively involved in design projects, event organization, and business recruitment, and the office is a primary point of contact for businesses that seek to locate, expand, or renovate in the downtown area.

www.valdostachamber.com 35


Small Business & Entrepreneur Development

Business Vignettes

We provide state-of-the-art technology and support to medical professionals.

Azalea Health Innovations By Amanda Knoles

A

zalea Health Innovations specializes in affordable information technology and medical billing solutions for clients. Founded by professionals with extensive experience in the health care services industry, the company offers a range of carefully tailored products and services designed to streamline workflow and maximize profits for health care providers. Valdosta State University graduates Baha Zeidan, Dan Henry, and Douglas Swords won the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce’s Guardian Bank Business Plan Competition in 2008 with their idea for the medical support business. Winning the competition brought them additional publicity and community support for their downtown office, which opened in April 2008. “We provide state-of-the-art technology and support to medical professionals,

36 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

allowing them to focus on their patients and provide the best possible health care,” explained Swords. Azalea offers IT support and consulting, EMR/HER/PMS systems, and medical billing solutions. With business thriving and more area medical practices coming on board, the founders plan to add medical transcription, development of original software, and other new products and services to help medical providers make their operations more efficient. With the expansion of government requirements for electronic medical records and HIPAA compliance, Swords says Azalea Health Innovations can make the transition easier for health practices by providing trained professionals who can guide them through the automation process. 877-777-7686 :: www.azaleahealth.com


Business Vignettes

Small Business & Entrepreneur Development

SEGA Medical Research By Amanda Knoles

SEGA Medical Research, winner of the Chamber-coordinated Guardian Bank Business Plan Competition in 2009, is a medical research site in Hahira that teams with doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device manufacturers to conduct clinical trials. Founder and Director of Operations Robbin Miller says she plans to use the money won in the competition to help expand her company. The research center opened in July 2008, but the idea for the company originated over a year ago after Miller attended a Boston research conference and began using her contacts to brainstorm ideas for her future enterprise. “Participating in a lot of networking events was one of the smarter decisions I made,” Miller said. Working with a business coach assigned to her by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber and attending numerous seminars, classes, and after-hours events helped her broaden her business knowledge and find the courage to go forward with her plans. SEGA’s office complex includes six exam rooms, a lab, and procedure room, as well as additional space for processing, data collection, and monitoring of various clinical trials. Current clinical studies are focused on rheumatology, orthopedics, cardiology, ophthalmology, and neurology/pain management. Future studies are expected to include urology and endocrinology. Miller says patients participating in the trials come from towns within Lowndes County and surrounding cities. Proximity to Valdosta State University and two other colleges has helped provide a database of potential patients for future studies. As part of her expansion plans Miller wants to broaden her clinical trials into the phase one category, which involves conducting research with patients who stay overnight. In addition to offering possible new solutions for patients whose current medicines aren’t working, Miller says it is gratifying to work on clinical research that may provide effective relief for patients in the future. “We also provide an alternative for people who have no insurance,” she added. “By participating in a study they receive medicine and monitoring of their condition for free.” 229-794-1730 www.segamedicalresearch.com

Code 3 Response Security By Amanda Knoles 229-247-9122

Code 3 Response Security got its start in 2006 through the Guardian Bank Business Plan Competition, coordinated by the Chamber. The contract security company initially supplied uniformed security guards and provided medical and wireless alarm systems. As the company has expanded over the last three years, a uniformed guard and mobile patrol division has been implemented to provide security for private businesses and homes 24 hours a day. “Our primary goal is to provide quality, professional and courteous service to our clients and offer them peace of mind with our experience and training,” said Barbara Fender, president. Fender says working with the ValdostaLowndes County Chamber helped guide her through the laborious process of opening a business. “Being a person on my own, the many programs they offered for small-business owners and entrepreneurs made me feel like I had an experienced partner by my side every step of the way.” Code 3 specializes in emergency response systems, personal protection service, security for construction sites, ATMs, and special events. Consultations may be arranged for situations requiring armed guards or additional monitoring. Recent expansion has allowed the addition of a public safety supply store specializing in gear, technical equipment, and other essentials needed by police and public safety workers.

www.valdostachamber.com 37


Small Business & Entrepreneur Development

Business Vignettes

SmithBarnas & Associates By Amanda Knoles

S

mithBarnas & Associates, Inc., specializes in human resources systems. Located in downtown Valdosta, the company provides services for all of South Georgia and North Florida. Owners Megan Smith and Anne Barnas combined their extensive backgrounds in human resources to build an award-winning business model. As winners of the 2006 Guardian Bank Business Plan Competition, coordinated by the Chamber, Smith and Barnas submitted a business plan that focused on providing small and medium-sized businesses with professional human resource consulting and outsourcing support and services. Their attention to every detail in the plan earned them funds to help cover startup costs, equipment, and other expenses. Over the last three years their services have grown to include organizational development, strategic planning, administration, and employee relations. Whether a company needs assistance with developing an employee handbook or formulating a plan to increase productivity, SmithBarnas can help. “We assess each business to understand unique challenges and provide service and support in all areas of human resource management so that businesses can concentrate on other areas like growth and productivity,” said Smith. Smith and Barnas also work closely with local employers, colleges and universities to provide a suitable match for graduates. “We feel a responsibility to the community to help small businesses and entrepreneurs, and by keeping talent in the Valdosta area we can help strengthen the local economy,” Smith said. 229-269-4700 :: www.smithbarnas.com

38 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce


Young Professionals in Valdosta

MetroOne

Connecting

Young Talent

Throughout Valdosta

By Amanda Knoles

M

etroOne is an organization within the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce that focuses on attracting and retaining young professionals to the metro area. Founded in 2007, the initiative provides ongoing opportunities for networking, professional development, and business support. “MetroOne has had many successes in its first two years,” said Melissa Wheeler, workforce development and education director for the Chamber. “For example, we hosted a Young Professional Development Seminar where participants had the opportunity to attend a variety of concurrent sessions to sharpen their networking skills, strengthen their leadership skills, and enhance their knowledge of technology.” The group also coordinated the first-ever Brainstorming Roundtable Series between the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority, Valdosta State University, and Valdosta Technical College. “Bringing these major institutions together provoked many valuable discussions and continues to build bridges for collaboration,” Wheeler noted. “Additionally, it signified to all involved that MetroOne is not

40 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

only a networking opportunity, but also an organization focused on policy and community change. “We feel all of our combined activities have expanded young professionals’ positive views of Valdosta and highlight the great people, places, and events we have in our community.” The Metro Valdosta Emerging Leader program is a new initiative to promote community and individual achievement. “The mission of the Emerging Leader program is to acknowledge up-and-coming leaders in the Metro Valdosta area by highlighting their professional milestones and accomplishments,” Wheeler said. Another new program, MetroOne Mentorship, provides a personal and professional development opportunity for MetroOne members by facilitating meaningful and beneficial relationships between present and prospective community leaders. John Trombetta, director of alumni relations for Valdosta State University and an active


MetroOne

Young Professionals in Valdosta

participant in MetroOne, says the group offers a variety of opportunities for its members; but a primary benefit is networking. “It’s helped my wife and me meet people,” Trombetta said. “It gave us an instant network of folks who are just like us; they’re in our age range and face similar challenges. From a professional standpoint, because we have so many alumni in Valdosta, and we have so many graduates who would like to stay here, it gives me an outlet to stay connected to both constituencies.” Trombetta added that the chance to meet a mix of people from so many diverse backgrounds makes it easy to fit in and feel comfortable. “There is a goal to promote Valdosta as a great place to live and work for young professionals, and that message comes across through positive experiences like touring a local manufacturing facility, having a dialogue with a politician, doing a service project, or learning about a new startup business.” Anne-Marie Wolff, planning and zoning administrator for the City of Valdosta, says being an active member of MetroOne has allowed her to forge wonderful relationships. “The vast majority of members are enthusiastic about their careers and about life in general,” Wolff noted. “They want to make a difference in their community while enjoying their surroundings. “Not only does MetroOne challenge me to grow professionally, but also to become a better person in general,” she added. “I’ve learned about new industries, technologies, and theories, all in entertaining and nonintimidating environments.”

www.valdostachamber.com 41


Young Professionals in Valdosta

Affluent and Artistic Asset

Shop, Dine, & By Amanda Knoles

Celebrate T

he largest city in Lowndes County, Valdosta is home to a beautifully restored downtown. The Valdosta Main Street Program enhances downtown’s position as the governmental, cultural, and economic center of greater Lowndes through the involvement of businesses, property owners, government, churches, and residents. In 2008, the program was recognized for the 12th consecutive year as an Accredited National Main Street Program by both the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Georgia Main Street Program for its successful track record in district revitalization. Making downtown Valdosta a destination has become much more than a slogan over the last few years. With more people shopping and dining in the area on a regular basis, word has spread about the downtown events that are becoming increasingly popular each month: • First Fridays, held the first Friday evening of each month, feature a variety of local and visiting musicians. The event has evolved to include art exhibits and book signings. An average of 1,000 people turn out for First Fridays, and organizers are committed to keeping it fun and festive. • The Brown Bag Lunch Concert Series, held in May, presents a different band each day performing live music from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Lowndes County Courthouse lawn. Featuring a variety of music styles from rock and country to folk, blues, and jazz, the concerts are sponsored by Bank of America, The City of Valdosta, and the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Department. Concerts are free, and participants may buy lunch and beverages from a variety of downtown restaurant booths. • Art After Dark is similar to First Fridays, except the emphasis is on visual arts instead of music, and the event is held on the third Friday of each month. Art exhibits were included in a few First Friday events, and the positive reaction led local artists to begin gathering sponsors for a

229-259-3577 :: www.valdostamainstreet.com

42 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce


Affluent and Artistic Asset

Young Professionals in Valdosta

separate event of their own. City Market, Hildegard’s, and the Bleu Café have all hosted Art After Dark events, and sponsors including the Valdosta Daily Times and the Southern Artists League have played a huge role in promoting it. Additionally, downtown is experiencing a boom in permanent tenants, as historic buildings are adapted for re-use. The recently restored 1880s Roberts Building is now home to apartments, office space, and retail shops. Retailers occupy the first floor, while spacious loft apartments on the second and third floors attract young professionals. An inviting blend of retro details and modern design, the building took more than two years to restore. Two new art galleries also opened their doors downtown in the last year, and both are thrilled with the positive response. Artists on Ashley, open since January 2008, couldn’t be happier with their location. Originally the artists/proprietors simply wanted a temporary space to exhibit their work, but a year later they decided they needed a more permanent space and approached the building’s owner about extensive renovations. Today five artists share studio and gallery space here. A short walk down the street, mother and daughter Fay and Jolie Hyatt opened Kaleidoscope Gallery. Featuring a variety of art, including paintings, sculpture, pottery, stained glass, furniture, and jewelry, the gallery represents 14 nationally known artists and offers on-site portraits and painting workshops. “We are delighted to see downtown Valdosta becoming a place where people can enjoy fine art, a nice meal, and socialize with others at the free concerts,” Fay Hyatt said. Of course, these are just a handful of recent examples. Downtown Valdosta offers a plethora of services and attractions, including city and county government offices, live theater productions, more than 20 restaurants, spa and salon services, clothing shops, antiques, jewelry, fine gifts, gourmet foods, professional photography, and much more.

Storage trailerS, inc. CONTAINERS & ROLLS OFFS Containers 20Ft & 40Ft

PORTABLE OFFICES PICK UP • DELIVERY RENTAL • SALES

roll oFFs 10YD, 15 YD 20YD, 30YD & 40YD

Office: 229-247-6466 • Toll-Free: 800-560-9826 • Fax: 229-244-2344

www.cowartandsonstorage.com

Well Drilling inc. Residential Well dRilling 2” to 10” PumP sales & seRvice

J. C. CowarT • Charles CowarT Locally Owned & Operated Serving Valdosta & Surrounding Areas

229-247-6466 ga lic# 429

www.valdostachamber.com 43


Retiring in Valdosta

A Triple Crown Hometown

Looking Forward

in Lowndes County By Jay Nehrkorn

V

aldosta was chosen as one of the “11 Great Places to Retire in the South” by Retirement Lifestyles magazine in 2007 and was featured again in the magazine’s Sept./ Oct. 2008 issue. It’s also been named one of the top 100 places to live in the United States by Relocate America. This comes as no surprise to the region’s retirees, who have already discovered the allure of this Southern jewel. For them, retirement isn’t a time to sit around, it’s a time get active and do those things they didn’t have time — or perhaps resources — to do before. And there’s no better place to do it than South Georgia, which offers shopping, dining, golf, arts, family recreation, active retirement communities, and more — all in a fantastic climate amidst beautiful scenery. Lowndes County has become a premier retirement destination. Valdosta offers superb cultural attractions, sporting events, shopping, and dining in a vibrant, smallcity environment. If you prefer a more

44 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

laid-back atmosphere, the historic community of Hahira has a beautiful downtown area where everything you need is just a golf-cart ride away. The community of Lake Park provides quiet surroundings and great shopping in a lovely waterfront setting.

through LIR covers a wide spectrum of interests, and the quarterly fee is modest enough to fit any budget.

Special Senior Services

The Valdosta-Lowndes Senior Center is a 12,000-square-foot recreation center that offers fitness and educational opportunities to residents over the age of 50. The center has a new indoor pool, a well-equipped exercise room, game rooms and billiards tables, a library/computer lab with Internet access, and outdoor games such as horseshoes and shuffleboard. They also offer social and educational events such as dances, bingo, luncheons, a yearly health expo, and regular health-related seminars. Best of all, funding is tax-based through both the city and the county, so all of the center’s offerings are available for a very minimal fee.

Learning in Retirement www.valdosta.edu/conted/lir.shtml

Life is a constant process of learning and growing, and Valdosta State University’s Learning in Retirement (LIR) Program gives individuals 50 years of age and above the chance to go back to school to explore new interests. LIR is sponsored by the university, but the members of the program handle the budget and makes decisions on curriculum and social events. Participation in collegelevel courses is on a non-credit basis, which means that no previous formal education is required, and there are no tests or grades to worry about. The curriculum available

Valdosta-Lowndes Senior Center www.valdostasportsandevents.com/ NSSeniorCenter.htm


A Triple Crown Hometown

Retiring in Valdosta

Volunteer Programs www.sogaseniorvolunteers.com

The retirement years are also the perfect time to offer your energy and experience to others through volunteering, and Valdosta-Lowndes County has a wide variety of gratifying opportunities for you to make a difference. • The Literacy Volunteer Program provides the chance to help functionally illiterate adults improve their reading and arithmetic skills. • You can help those in need through service at America’s Second Harvest Food Bank, or by becoming active in the Valdosta Chapter of the American Red Cross. • The Boys and Girls Club of Valdosta gives you the chance to be a mentor or a tutor to area children. Additionally, there are many organizations and church groups that can help you can get involved, and you may find that the time you spend helping others is the most rewarding time of your life. The Senior Volunteer Connection of South Central Georgia can connect you with volunteer opportunities in the community. Contact them at the Web address above or by calling 229-671-1414.

Triple Crown Hometowns www.georgiaretire.com

Retirees interested in moving to Lowndes County should know that there are resources available to help make the relocation process simpler. Triple Crown Hometowns, a threecounty retirement development partnership sponsored by local chambers of commerce, is ready to assist and offer information. Check out their Web site, above, or contact them by phone at 866-738-4732. www.valdostachamber.com 45


Retiring in Valdosta

A Triple Crown Hometown

Not Retired – Just Rewired By Jay Nehrkorn

46 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

“Y

ou know, it’s funny. I sat down this morning and I said, ‘Let me just identify some of the places I’ve worked.’ I’m on number 71.” Carl Bleier’s combined 34 years as an executive with Best Foods and Coca-Cola carried him all over the world. From New Hampshire to Southern California, Seattle to Atlanta, to locations in Europe, Japan, and the Philippines, he’s been there. In 2004, facing yet another move, he chose to take early retirement and work as a consultant to finish his career. After traveling the world and living in nearly every region of the country, this New Jersey native and his wife, Shelly, could have made their new home anywhere they wanted. They chose Valdosta. The Bleiers were first introduced to the community through their youngest daughter, Sabrina, who attended VSU on a softball scholarship and liked the area so much that she decided to live in Valdosta after graduation. Carl and Shelly also liked what they saw in their daughter’s new hometown so well that they purchased a house of their own in the Stone Creek neighborhood once he ended his career at Coca-Cola. “We just love it here,” he said. “We feel so blessed that we had the opportunity to move here and meet all of these wonderful people. I almost feel like we’re sheltered from the real world in many ways … it’s just a nice, nice place to live.” Carl closed his consulting business to care for his mother during the final years of her life, but since her passing he’s stayed active. He’s involved in church functions, the Alzheimer’s Association, and a mentoring program for children downtown. He’s offered his time and talents to the business community too, writing business plans and helping the Industrial Authority with projects. As if that weren’t enough, the man who formerly wore titles like plant manager, director of operations, and vice president of operations now helps at his daughter’s pitching school, where he laughingly says his new title is “jack of all trades and janitor.” Somewhere along the way, he even finds some time for golf. While his days as a globetrotting corporate troubleshooter may be over, this father of three and grandfather of nine shows no signs of slowing down. “In this community, I’ve got something to do every day,” he said. “I always say that I’m not retired; I’m rewired.”


Index of Advertisers

Index of Advertisers

Please support the advertisers who helped make this publication possible. Adult Care/Senior Living

Heritage Healthcare at Holly Hill — Page 11 229-244-6968 Heritage Healthcare at Crestwood 229-242-6868 Heritage Healthcare at Lakehaven 229-242-7368 Heritage Healthcare of Valdosta 229-244-7368 www.uhs-pruitt.com

Presbyterian Home and Retirement Community — Page 15

1901 West Screven Street Quitman, GA 31643 229-263-6100......................... Fax 229-263-6151 www.PHGAINC.org Trust Our Tradition. Since 1949, Presbyterian Home and Retirement Community has offered exceptional services to senior adults in a special community with a hometown feel. • Cluster Homes • Studio Apartments • Assisted Living • Memory Support Centers • Skilled Nursing • Hospice Services

Airport

Valdosta-Lowndes County Airport Authority — Page 41

1750 Airport Road, Suite 1 Valdosta, GA 31601 229-333-1833......................... Fax 229-245-8153 www.flyvaldosta.com Airport — Commercial Service and General Aviation

Construction/Contractors

Quillian Powell Construction Co., Inc. — Page Inside Back Cover

308 Tucker Road Valdosta, GA 31601 229-245-0838......................... Fax 229-245-1191 qpcc@qpconst.com www.qpconst.com Providing the highest level of service and quality, since 1987. If you are looking for a General Contractor that offers quality products and services, look no further than Quillian Powell Construction Co., Inc.

Slone Associates, Inc. — Page 15

835 Gil Harbin Industrial Boulevard Valdosta, GA 31601 229-244-6709......................... Fax 229-244-7778 Containers – Roll Offs

Cowart & Son Storage Trailers, Inc. — Page 43

2317 Old Clyattville Road Valdosta, GA 31601 229-247-6466......................... Fax 229-244-2344 storage@cowartvaldosta.com www.cowartandsonstorage.com Roll Offs, Containers, and Portable Offices for rent, sale, pick-up, and delivery. Promptness, quality, and service always come first.

Country Club

Valdosta Country Club — Page 3

3500 Country Club Road P.O. Box 2325 Valdosta, GA 31605 229-242-3706......................... Fax 229-241-8747 www.valdostacc.com

Amusements/Recreation/Entertainment

Peach State Summer Theatre — Page 36 1500 North Patterson Street Valdosta, GA 31698 229-259-7770 www.valdosta.edu/psst

Peach State Summer Theatre, the Official Musical Theatre of the State of Georgia, presents professional musical theater each summer on the campus of Valdosta State University. For information, please visit www.valdosta.edu/psst.

Dentistry

Advanced Dental Care, LLC — Page 35

3211 Wildwood Plantation Drive Valdosta, GA 31605 229-242-4441......................... Fax 229-242-4471 office@adcteam.com www.adcteam.com We want to take care of your entire family’s dental needs in the most comfortable and clean atmosphere. We guarantee a friendly staff and first-class customer service.

Automotive – Dealership/Repair

Lee Miller’s Auto Service Center — Page 33 1319 West Hill Avenue Valdosta, GA 31601 229-244-8987

• 35 Years Experience • Air/Installation & Service • Heating Service • Brakes • Oil Changes • Tune Ups • Heater Cores • Batteries • Carburetor Work • Turn Rotors • Electrical Repairs: Door Locks, Windows, Wiring

Churches

First United Methodist Church — Page 36

220 North Patterson Street P.O. Box 1306 Valdosta, GA 31603 229-242-4050......................... Fax 229-242-8791 www.methodistvaldosta.org Come and join us at First United Methodist Church Valdosta! You will become part of the family as we worship God together!

New Covenant Church — Page 20

3531 Bemiss Road Valdosta, GA 31605 229-247-7777......................... Fax 229-247-0496 www.nccvaldosta.org We are a diverse, interdenominational body of believers committed to worshipping and serving Jesus Christ. With ministries available for all ages, we have A Place for You!

Economic Development

Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority — Page 33

2110 North Patterson Street Valdosta, GA 31603 Phone 229-259-9972.............. Fax 229-259-9973 blofton@industrialauthority.com www.industrialauthority.com Education

Brookfield Academy — Page 25

409 Brookfield Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-253-1329......................... Fax 229-253-1639 www.brookfield-academy.com

Georgia Military College — Page 27

4201 North Forrest Street Valdosta, GA 31605 229-269-4848......................... Fax 229-293-6001 www.gmc.cc.ga.us/valdosta Offering University transferable courses and Associate Degrees in Business Administration, Behavioral Science, Criminal Justice, Education, Pre-Nursing, and General Studies.

Lowndes County Board of Education — Page 38

1592 Norman Drive P.O. Box 1227 Valdosta, GA 31603 229-245-2250......................... Fax 229-245-2255 www.lowndes.k12.ga.us

Valdosta City Schools — Page 23

1204 Williams Street P.O. Box 5407 Valdosta, GA 31603 229-333-8500......................... Fax 229-247-7757 www.gocats.org

Valdosta State University — Page Inside Front Cover 1500 N. Patterson St. Valdosta, GA 31698 800-618-1878 www.valdosta.edu

Over 11,000 students attend this major regional university recognized for its quality academics, caring faculty, fine arts, beautiful campus, and national championship teams. Arts, Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education, and Nursing.

Valdosta Technical College — Page Outside Back Cover

4089 Val Tech Rd. Valdosta , GA 31602 229-333-2100......................... Fax 229-333-2129 www.valdostatech.edu Located just off of I75, Valdosta Technical College is a SACS-accredited and equal opportunity institution that offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in more than 150 programs of study.

Valwood School — Page 4

4380 Old U.S. Highway 41 North P.O. Box 4930 Hahira, GA 31632-4199 229-242-8491......................... Fax 229-245-7894 www.valwood.org Independent college preparatory school enrolling students in prekindergarten through 12th grade.

Electrical – Contractors

Etheridge Electric Company, Inc. — Page 5

229-794-2148......................... Fax 229-794-3858 www.etheridgeelectric.com • Electrical contracting • Electrical repair & service • Deep well pump service • Complete automated gate systems • Pond fountains • Licensed, bonded, insured

Health care

Lowndes County Health Department — Page 20

206 South Patterson St. Valdosta, GA 31601 229-333-5257......................... Fax 229-245-2341 www.southhealthdistrict.com/lowndes Services available at the Lowndes County Health Department are: • Immunizations, including a travel clinic • Family Planning • Breast Test & More • Teen Clinic • Vital Records • Environmental Services

South Georgia Medical Center — Page 17 P.O. Box 1727 Valdosta, GA 31603-1727 229-333-1000 www.sgmc.org

SGMC is the regional referral medical center for South Georgia providing the most advanced diagnostic technologies, women and children services, cancer treatment including clinical trials, and cardiac care including open heart surgery.

Southern OB/GYN Associates, PC — Page Inside Back Cover

220 Northside Drive Valdosta, GA 31602 229-241-2800......................... Fax 229-245-0445 www.southernobgyn.net

United Hospice, Inc. — Page 16

407 Cowart Avenue Valdosta, GA 31602 229-242-1187......................... Fax 229-242-0562 www.united-hospice.com

Valdosta Medical Clinic — Page 34

3207 Country Club Drive Valdosta, GA 31605 229-242-8480......................... Fax 229-241-0252 www.valdostamed.com Valdosta Medical Clinic has served the medical needs of South Georgia and North Florida since 1989. We specialize in internal medicine, gastroenterology, and cardiology. With our staff of 13 physicians, three nurse practitioners, and 85 dedicated employees, we are committed to providing our patients the highest quality of care available anywhere.

Financial Institutions

Bank of Valdosta — Page 37

301 Woodrow Wilson Drive Valdosta, GA 31602 229-242-3522......................... Fax 229-242-2484 www.bankofvaldosta.com Bank of Valdosta (BOV) is a locally managed, statechartered, FDIC-insured bank. We are a full-service community bank.

First State Bank & Trust Company — Page 39

3650 Inner Perimeter Road P.O. Box 4810 Valdosta, GA 31604 229-242-5725......................... Fax 229-245-5564 www.fsbtc.com First State Bank & Trust Company has been serving the people of Valdosta and Lowndes County since 1906. We have three banking locations in Valdosta and one in Lake Park.

Georgia Power Valdosta Federal Credit Union — Page 7

1707 Dow St. Valdosta, GA 31601 229-253-1111......................... Fax 229-293-9174 www.gpvfcu.com

The Park Avenue Bank — Page 36

3102 North Oak Street P.O. Box 3730 Valdosta, GA 31604 229-242-7758......................... Fax 229-241-9677 www.parkavebank.com

Hotels/Motels/Bed & Breakfasts

Best Western King of the Road — Page 19 1403 North St. Augustine Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-244-7600 www.AmericanMotel.Travel

• Each guest room is spacious, clean, and comfortable with a host of in-room amenities • Over 33,000 square feet of meeting, conference, and party space including 4 banquet rooms • “Caesar’s Palace” style theater with seating for up to 250 people

Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Center — Page 13

I-75 (Exit 16) & Hwy 84 1805 West Hill Avenue Valdosta, GA 31601 229-244-1111 ....................... Fax 229-244-6900 Toll-Free Reservations 800-465-4329 stay@hivaldosta.com www.williamshospitality.net 2009 Torchbearer Award Hotel. Azalea’s Restaurant & Lounge. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, & Room Service. Meeting & Banquet Space for up to 200. 160 Contemporary Guest Rooms. Micro-Fridge & 32" FlatPanel TV with HBO in all Rooms. Wired & Wireless Internet. Family, Executive, & Jacuzzi Suites.

Sleep Inn & Suites — Page 11

3026 James Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-671-1111......................... Fax 229-671-1119 www.sleepinnvaldosta.com

Valdosta’s community bank since 1956, The Park Avenue Bank provides full-service banking through 5 branches and 9 conveniently located ATMs. Visit today and experience our award-winning customer service.

www.valdostachamber.com 47


Index of Advertisers Williams Hospitality Hotels — Page 1

1221 West Fourth St. Adel, GA 31620 229-896-4511......................... Fax 229-896-4710 rick@williamshospitality.net www.williamshospitality.net South Georgia’s Hospitality Headquarters! Hotels in Valdosta, Tifton, & Adel include Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Comfort Suites, Comfort Inn & Suites, Country Inn & Suites, Days Inns, Super 8, & Ramada.

Housing/Apartments

The Links Apartments — Page 22

3715 N. Valdosta Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-333-0999......................... Fax 229-333-0927 thelinksapts@bellsouth.net www.thelinksapartments.com Gated Community & Video Monitored, Fully Equipped Fitness Center, Resort-Style Pool, Detached Garages, Gourmet Kitchens, Barbeque Areas, Playground. Convenient to Valdosta’s Finest Golf Communities, Dining, Shopping, and Moody AFB.

Spring Chase Apartments — Page 31

1601 Norman Drive Valdosta, GA 31601 229-247-8472......................... Fax 229-247-9342 sprchase@bellsouth.net www.springchaseapartments.com Hunting Preserve

Olympia Bend Plantation — Page 33 6514 Olympia Road Office: 2317 Old Clyattville Road Valdosta, GA 31601 229-247-6466 800-560-9826 www.olympiabendplantation.com

Family owned and operated Olympia Bend Plantation offers Premier Hunting and Fishing. Have a great weekend getaway or reward your employees with a premier hunting or fishing package. OBP has a package to accommodate your needs.

Insurance

Brooker Insurance Agency, Inc. — Page 41

2406-A Bemiss Road Valdosta, GA 31604 229-242-2099......................... Fax 229-242-3868

State Farm Insurance Angie Crawford — Page 26

1106 Gornto Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-242-0855......................... Fax 229-242-0869 angie@angiecrawford.com www.angiecrawford.com We have a fully licensed team that offers a wide array of insurance and financial products. Our expertise in Auto, Home, Life, Health, and Business insurance makes us your one-stop choice.

Landscaping

Manufacturing

Archer Daniels Midland Company — Page 5 1841 Clay Road Valdosta, GA 31603 229-293-2600 www.adm.com www.stratasfoods.com

Dupont Crop Protection — Page 7 2509 Rocky Ford Road Valdosta, GA 31601 229-293-4130

Dupont Crop Protection and the employees of the Valdosta Manufacturing Site are proud to be a part of the Valdosta/Lowndes County community.

NonProfit

Serenity Rose Recovery Center for Women — Page 4 716 Wilson Avenue Valdosta, GA 31602 229-242-9335

We assist our residents with overcoming addictions to substances and other adverse life circumstances that have contributed to social dysfunction and underemployment.

Ophthalmology

Eye Associates of South Georgia, LLC — Page 45

3024 North Patterson Street Valdosta, GA 31602 229-247-4114......................... Fax 229-245-9042 lasik@completeicare.com www.completeicare.com Dedicated to providing a wide range of services including general family eye care, eye surgery (including LASIK, Cataract, Glaucoma, and Corneal Surgery), eye medicine, and complete optical dispensing. Our out-patient surgery center has received the highest level of accreditation since its inception.

Pest Control

Astro Exterminating Services, Inc. — Page 30

1708 Gornto Road Valdosta, GA 31601 229-244-6862......................... Fax 229-242-8649 astro2@bellsouth.net www.astroexterminating.com Since 1969, Astro Exterminating has been serving South Georgia. Offering today’s modern technology in pest and termite control. From interior to exterior, residential to commercial, Astro can handle all of your pest problems.

Plumbing Fixtures, Parts, & Supplies

Valdosta Winnelson Company — Page 22

2517-H Bemiss Road P.O. Box 2305 Valdosta, GA 31604 229-333-9700......................... Fax 229-333-9755 www.winnelson.com Wholesale Distributor Plumbing Supplies

• Landscape design and installation • Sprinkler systems • Hardscapes • Pools

Laundry/Dry Cleaning

Pleats & Creases Dry Cleaners & Laundry — Page 4

209 Northside Drive Valdosta, GA 31602 229-242-7000......................... Fax 229-242-7751 • Custom Dry Cleaning Services • Shirt Laundry • Same-Day Service • Comforter/Bedspread • Alterations • 7 Locations

1108 Gornto Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-244-3535......................... Fax 229-247-2477 valdostarealtors.com • Residential Real Estate • Commercial Real Estate • Farm & Acreage • Site Selection & Development • Commercial & Residential Property Management • Investment Property • Buyer & Seller Representation

The Herndon Company — Page 29

1100 North Patterson Street Valdosta, GA 31601 229-244-1992......................... Fax 229-245-6390 www.herndoncompanyrealestate.com Serving Valdosta and Moody Air Force Base Since 1953. • Residential • Commercial • Farms • Property Management

Pool Hall/Bar

C.J.’s Pub & Pool — Page 45 1201 Baytree Road Valdosta, GA 31601 229-333-0903

• Full Menu • Largest Bar Selection • Daily Specials • 16 Regulation Pool Tables • Golden Tee Golf • Dart Board • 32" TVs • NFL Sunday Ticket • ESPN Game Plan • Large Seating • Smoking Available • 1/2 Mile From Most Hotels

Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Premier Real Estate Margaret Ann Griffin — Page 26 1108 Gornto Road Valdosta, GA 31602 229-244-3535 ext. 212 Cell 229-630-0611 magriffin@valdostarealtors.com www.valdostarealtors.com

48 Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

Services – Customer

Servpro of Valdosta — Page 16

229-244-1466 229-794-1117 Cell 229-356-0345.................. Fax 229-794-1119 spvaldosta@windstream.net • Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning • Air Duct Cleaning

Signs

Sign A Rama — Page 37

1835 A Norman Drive Valdosta, GA 31601 229-249-0032......................... Fax 229-249-0008 info@signarama-valdosta.com www.signarama-valdosta.com Your Full-Service Sign Center: Banners, Magnetic Signs, Logo Design, Vehicle Lettering, Window and Door Lettering, Custom Graphics and Logos, Retail Signs, Real Estate Signs, Trade Show Booths, and Much More!

Tutoring Restaurants

Texas Roadhouse — Page 7 1874 Clubhouse Drive Valdosta, GA 31601 229-242-7700 www.texasroadhouse.com

• Hand-Cut Steaks • Award-Winning “Fall-Off-the-Bone” Ribs • Fresh-Baked Bread Served with Honey Cinnamon Butter • Made-From-Scratch Side Items and Dressings • Ice-Cold Beer and Legendary Margaritas

Retail

The Floor Shop — Page 43

11662 Troupeville Road Valdosta, GA 31601 229-333-8855......................... Fax 229-333-8877 thefloorshopinc@bellsouth.net Sales, Service and Installation of • Carpet • Vinyl • Hardwood Flooring • Ceramic Tiles • Marble • Granite • Area Rugs Commercial & Residential

Miller Hardware Company — Page 41

P.O. Box 98 211 East Hill Avenue Valdosta, GA 31603-0098 229-244-0924......................... Fax 229-244-6687 www.millerhardware.com

Sew and So Fabrics — Page 37

601 East Park Avenue Valdosta, GA 31602 229-333-2594......................... Fax 229-333-9852 sewandsofabrics@bellsouth.net Fabrics for apparel, quilting, and home decor. Notions and patterns. Friendly, experienced personal service. Sewing classes. Alterations and custom sewing. Sewing machine parts and repair.

Southern Gardens — Page 24

Quality Companies, Inc. — Page 24 4609 Bemiss Road Valdosta, GA 31605 229-245-9554 www.qualitycompaniesinc.com

Coldwell Banker Premier Real Estate Missy Sherwood — Page 2

W.P. Walker’s VACK, Inc. — Page 20 Home: 229-244-2297 Cell: 229-834-0502

Individual Instruction for Reading Comprehension, Language, and Math. All grades and ages (BA & Med). 45 Years Experience.

Utilities

Colquitt Electric Membership Corporation — Page 10

273 Norman Dr. P.O. Box 219 Valdosta, GA 31601 229-244-6893......................... Fax 229-245-1157 www.colquittemc.com Colquitt EMC is a member-owned electric cooperative that supplies electricity and other services to its members in Lowndes, Berrien, Brooks, Colquitt, Cook, Tift, and Worth counties.

Georgia Power Company — Page 21 901 North Patterson Street Valdosta, GA 31601 888-660-5890 www.georgiapower.com

The Georgia Power Company welcomes you to Valdosta/Lowndes County. For a complete listing of Residential and Commercial services, visit www.georgiapower.com.

SCANA Energy — Page 29 P.O. Box 26306 Macon, GA 31221-6306 478-743-1552 877-467-2262 toll free www.scanaenergy.com

SCANA Energy makes natural gas service easy. We are committed to providing our customers with competitive prices, multiple rate plan options, and friendly customer service. Sign up and save today.

Well Drilling

4609 Bemiss Road Valdosta, GA 31605 229-245-8066

Cowart & Son Well Drilling — Page 43

Valdosta Mall — Page 46

Locally owned and operated for over 30 years. Specializing in Residential Well Drilling for Valdosta and surrounding counties.

1700 Norman Drive Valdosta, GA 31601 229-242-0457......................... Fax 229-242-0532 www.shopvaldostamall.com More than 70 national and specialty shops providing shopping, dining, and fun-filled events throughout the year. Open 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday–Saturday 1 p.m.–6 p.m. Sunday

Retail – Food

Mr. B’s IGA — Page 36

1405 North Lee St. Valdosta, GA 31601 229-245-8300......................... Fax 229-257-0450 mrbsmarketinc@bellsouth.net Mr. B’s IGA is a full-service retail grocery store specializing in fresh meats and produce. We strive to provide each customer with as pleasant a shopping experience as possible.

2317 Old Clyattville Road Valdosta, GA 31601 229-247-6466

Woodworking

S & S Woodworking — Page 16

5015 Inner Perimeter Road Valdosta, GA 31601 229-244-6362......................... Fax 229-259-9335


Valdosta-Lowndes County, GA 2010 Community Profile and Resource Guide  

Valdosta-Lowndes County, GA 2010 Community Profile and Resource Guide

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